Community Water Center

Community-driven water solutions through organizing, education, and advocacy

Improved Drought Planning for Small and Rural Communities

Last May, Governor Brown passed Executive Order B-37-16 which aims to improve drought planning and resiliency in California communities, and make water conservation a way of life throughout the state. The Order provides urban water agencies guidance for developing new water use targets permanently prohibits wasteful water practices. It recommends the development of Water Shortage Contingency Plans (both for urban water agencies and small, rural water systems), and updates to Agricultural Water Management Plans. A draft report outlining recommendations for implementation of this executive order was released yesterday, see here

One component of the executive order called on counties to work with the state to develop "improved drought planning" for those areas not covered by Urban Water Management Plans (i.e., small and rural communities). This is essential, since small and rural communities tend to be the most vulnerable to drought impacts. For example, in East Porterville, over 80024891578809_f6b9e6bfbc_o.jpg private wells went dry, leaving some families without running water for over three years. In communities like East Porterville, it is not simply a matter of mandating water conservation when a drought hits. Residents' household wells are shallow, and often families are already using a below-average amount of water in their homes.

The following recommendations were noted the in the draft report, which will help to improve the drought response in small and rural communities: 

  • Improve assessment of drought vulnerability to understand relative risks and prioritize actions,

  • Take proactive actions to reduce drought vulnerability when and where appropriate, and

  • Improve availability and readiness of appropriate responses for when drought impacts do occur, including financing when and where appropriate.

Improved drought planning discussions will continue into 2017, with stakeholder input from counties, small rural water systems, and private well owners being a necessary component. Contact Kelsey at kelsey.hinton@communitywatercenter.org or 916-706-3346 for more information and to get involved! 

Like us to spread the word

Related News & Resources

The California Drought Isn’t Over, It Just Went Underground

By Mark Grossi  Read the Full Story HERE In the wake of 2016's abnormally wet winter, many have begun to think that the drought is over, and that its ramifications...

California Takes Strong Steps Toward Making Water Conservation a Way of Life

For Immediate Release Contacts:Kimiko Martinez, Natural Resources Defense Council, kmartinez@nrdc.org, 310-434-2344Sara Aminzadeh, California Coastkeeper Alliance, sara@cacoastkeeper.org, 415-794-8422Cynthia Koehler, WaterNow Alliance, ck@waternow.org, 415-515-0511 California Takes Strong Steps Toward Making Water Conservation a Way of Life Reduced pressure...

Weather.com: As Many as 700,000 Californians Are Drinking Contaminated Water

  By: Sean Breslin Published on March 24, 2017 Read the original story HERE Nearly 300 water systems in California did not comply with safe drinking water standards, many of...

2017 Legislative Wins and looking forward!

SB 623 (Monning): Safe and Affordable Drinking Water Fund As we have shared before, CWC’s top legislative priority is SB 623 which would create a new Safe and Affordable Drinking...

Comments Submitted for AB 401

Community Water Center joined with Pacific Institute, Clean Water Action, and other organizations to submit a comment letter on the implementation of AB 401, legislation passed in 2015 that directs...

California Budget Takes Steps to Address State’s Drinking Water Crisis

    FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE June 16, 2017 CONTACT: Dawn Van Dyke, (916) 447-2854 x 1011, dvandyke@rcac.org Jonathan Nelson, (530) 848-4460, Jonathan.Nelson@CommunityWaterCenter.org Advocates say they will continue to push for...

Increased Access to Funding for Drinking Water Projects in Severely Disadvantaged Communities is Adopted at State Board

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE CONTACT: Debi Ores, (916)706-3346, Debi.Ores@CommunityWaterCenter.org     Sacramento – This week, the State Water Resources Control Board (SWRCB) approved the 2017-2018 Drinking Water State Revolving Fund Intended Use Plan...

They Built It, But Couldn’t Afford To Run It—Clean Drinking Water Fight Focuses On Gaps In Funding

By Ezra David Romero & Kerry Klein Published June 6, 2017 Read or listen to the full story HERE   In the third installment of the series Contaminated, KVPR focuses...

More News