On May 10, 2021, California Governor Gavin Newsom (D) announced a $5.1 billion plan for investing over four years in drought response and long-term water improvements. Additionally, the Newson plan includes $1 billion to aid California residents in paying overdue water bills. The plan includes $1.3 billion for drinking water and wastewater infrastructure, especially for small and disadvantaged communities, and $150 million for groundwater cleanup and water recycling to improve system resilience. Other funded activities include those that mitigate flood risk, provide grants to farmers to reduce water irrigation use, support data collection to improve forecasting of hydrologic conditions, and aid habitat restoration and improve ecosystems of fish and wildlife.
Newsom is quoted as saying, “Shoring up our water resilience, especially in small and disadvantaged communities, is imperative to safeguarding the future of our state in the face of devastating climate change impacts that are intensifying drought conditions and threatening our communities, the economy and the environment.” The plan is being well received generally with Peter Tateishi, CEO of Associated General Contractors of California, quoted as saying, “We applaud Governor Newsom for his willingness to invest more resources into water infrastructure so the state can have a more resilient future as we feel the impact of climate change”.