Last week California Governor Jerry Brown signed emergency legislation that fast-tracks more than $1 billion in funding for drought relief and critical water infrastructure projects in the state. As California enters its fourth year of unprecedented drought conditions, Xylem believes that both conservation efforts and water recycling solutions are needed to bring long-term relief.
“This funding is just one piece of a much larger effort to help those most impacted by the drought and prepare the state for an uncertain future,” said Governor Brown. “But make no mistake, from Modoc to Imperial County, rain is not in the forecast and every Californian must be doing their utmost to conserve water.”
The funds represent the most significant statewide investment in water supply infrastructure projects in decades – a package that includes surface and groundwater storage, ecosystem and watershed protection and restoration, and drinking water protection. Additionally, for the first time in California’s history, Governor Brown signed legislation creating a framework for local, sustainable management of groundwater, which accounts for about one-third of California’s water supply.
Following Governor Brown’s announcement, Xylem called on lawmakers to take steps needed to accelerate the use of drought-mitigation applications, such as water recycling and water reuse technologies.
“The economic future of California is directly correlated to its water security,” said Keel Robinson, North America Marketing and Business Development Manager for Xylem. “It is clear that conservation efforts can help, but they will not be enough. The technology and expertise to mitigate the impacts of drought already exist, and have been proven in successful applications around the world. Among them is water reuse technology, which reduces vulnerability to droughts and provides valuable environmental benefits.”
Robinson said that lawmakers must make it easier for industries and municipalities to reclaim wastewater for beneficial purposes, such as irrigation, industrial uses and environmental restoration.
“Streamline the permitting process, provide utilities with greater access to funding, and offer incentives to the public and private sectors to increase their water recycling efforts,” said Robinson. “These measures will help to accelerate water reuse implementation, providing an essential and sustainable addition to an overall water supply portfolio.”