California Water 2030: An Efficient Future
California can cut its wasteful use of water by 20 percent in the next 25 years while satisfying a growing population, maintaining a healthy agricultural sector, and supporting a vibrant economy. That’s the central message of “California Water 2030: An Efficient Future,” a report by the Pacific Institute of Oakland, California. The analysis, which provides a sharp contrast to the California Department of Water Resources 2005 Draft California Water Plan, details how smart technology, strong management, and appropriate rates and incentives can allow the state to meet its needs well into the future with less water.
Executive Summary (excerpt)
What would California’s water situation look like in the year 2030—twenty-five years from now? The answer is, almost anything: from shortage and political conflict to sufficiency and cooperation. California water planners regularly prepare projections of supply and demand as part of the California Water Plan process, but these projections have never included a vision of a truly water-efficient future, where California’s environmental, economic, and social water needs are met with smart technology, strong management, and appropriate rates and incentives. A water-efficient future is possible; indeed, it is preferable. We present a “High Efficiency” scenario here in which Californians maximize our ability to do the things we want, while minimizing the amount of water required to satisfy those desires. Under a High Efficiency scenario, total human use of water in California could decline by as much as 20 percent while still satisfying a growing population, maintaining a healthy agricultural sector, and supporting a vibrant economy. Some of the water saved could be rededicated to agricultural production elsewhere in the state; support new urban and industrial activities and jobs; and restore California’s stressed rivers, groundwater aquifers, and wetlands