Statewide Coalition Shares UC Research that Identifies Significant Future Water Supply Losses for California

Policymakers must advance SB 366 this year to establish statewide water supply targets

(EZ Newswire)

SACRAMENTO, CA -- Today, CA Water For All shares research, "The Magnitude of California’s Water Challenges" by Jay Lund (UC Davis), Josué Medellín-Azuara (UC Merced), and Alvar Escriva-Bou (UCLA), that identifies significant future water supply losses annually for California, estimating that by 2050, the Golden State is projected to lose between 4.6 and 9 million acre feet of annual water—equivalent to 10–20% of its supply for California’s communities and farms.
This research supports the estimates in the Governor’s Water Supply Strategy and amplifies the urgent need to set necessary statewide targets in statute that will extend beyond any one Administration to create a sustainable and long-term water supply for all Californians and future generations, as established in SB 366 (Caballero).

"As water uses consistently change over time, our research points to future water supply losses from several changing conditions, a growing population, an expanding economy, increased needs for environmental uses, reduced Colorado River supply, and groundwater overdraft," stated Jay Lund, UC Davis. "Proper preparations and planning by the state, water providers, and all stakeholders will be critical to how California adapts to ongoing deficits and anticipated loss in supplies."

As a result of changing and worsening climate conditions, an aging water infrastructure, a growing population, a global economy, and antiquated state policies, California is facing an ongoing water supply shortage of historic proportions.

The research highlights the following consequences of continued inaction:

  • Overall water supply will lessen, increasing the severity of droughts and increasing cost to the state to mitigate damages.
  • Having to purchase or import water raises costs for cities and towns. 
  • Agriculture’s shift toward permanent crops—about one-third of irrigated California land today— increases the costs of fallowing farmland.
  • The projected annual loss equates to 50–90% of statewide urban water use, or between 1.5 and 3 million acres of irrigated farmland.

"The findings of this important research reinforce what the Governor and his Administration have asserted in their Water Supply Strategy, and calls for policymakers to take action to codify water supply targets capable of advancing policy solutions that will address and implement new approaches to modernizing water management and planning," stated Danielle Blacet-Hyden, Deputy Executive Director of California Municipal Utilities Association (CMUA). "As a proud co-sponsor of SB 366, and on behalf of our statewide coalition of more than 150 organizations, we are eager to continue our work this legislative session to pass much-needed legislation and establish clear and necessary targets to address the perpetual water supply threat that grows worse every year."

Without clearly defined water supply targets and strategically planning the appropriate projects to achieve those targets, the state will continue to experience devastating water shortages in the future. SB 366 will secure an adequate water supply to preserve the California way of life, support economic vitality, and achieve food security, reliable energy supplies, support housing needs, ensure environmental uses, replenish underground and surface water storage, and maintain recreational activities. 

"As a water manager on the frontlines every single day, this research underscores the critical importance of not just planning for long-term loss but also short-term, extreme drought. SB 366 accounts for an annual loss of 10 million acre feet, setting the target in statute, allowing policymakers, regulators, and water managers to work together on how to make up for this anticipated deficit," stated Paul Cook, General Manager of Irvine Ranch Water District. "We are at a crossroads with our future water supply, we cannot afford to wait for the next crisis before making much-needed improvements in the system. The time to act is now to protect and support our future, the California economy, its environment, and our way of life."

SB 366 will be heard in the Assembly Water, Parks, and Wildlife Committee on June 25, 2024. 

To read the full report and supporting materials, click here

About CA Water For All 

CA Water For All is a statewide effort made up of more than 150 organizations seeking to educate policymakers on the urgent need for a legislative solution to address California’s ongoing water supply challenges. We are focused on bringing together the water community, policymakers, and stakeholders to collaborate on ensuring Californians have a sustainable and reliable water supply for all beneficial uses now and for future generations. To learn more or become a supporter, visit

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SOURCE: CA Water For All

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