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State Releases Draft Five-Year Water Plan
The 17-page document is designed to move the state toward more sustainable water management.
It focuses on water conservation, restoring ecosystems, water storage, flood protection, and safe drinking water.
"We've been dealing with many of these issues for many many years," says Matt Rodriquez, Secretary of the California Environmental Protection Agency.
"What's added here is a sense of urgency because we see there are going to be even greater demands or pressures on our water resources, due to population growth, due to increased demand, due to climate change," he says.
The plan will examine fees for polluters to pay for clean water. It also considers consolidating drinking water programs into one agency. Jennifer Clary with Clean Water Action says she's pleased with that, but says it lacks specifics.
"Everything is pretty rose-colored and not too definitive so I suppose you could read everything or nothing into it at this point in time," she says.
Some have criticized the proposal for it's inclusion of the Bay Delta Conservation Plan, which proposes building two tunnels to carry Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta water south.
Others are glad to see the plan include more than just Delta issues.
"As important as the Delta is, my organization has long believed that you can only solve problems in the Delta as part of a broader statewide fabric," says Tim Quinn, executive director of the Association of California Water Agencies. "They're clearly moving in that direction and I think the Brown administration should be applauded for it," says Quinn.
California's Department of Natural Resources says it will seek public input before the final plan is released in early December.
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