6 Ways California is Capturing & Storing Water from Storms

SACRAMENTO – California is continuing to leverage recent actions and a historic $8.6 billion investment to ensure that water from storms is captured and conserved to help preserve supplies for communities, wildlife and the environment, and water users if dry conditions return – actions aligned with California’s Water Supply Strategy:

  1. EXECUTIVE ORDER TO CAPTURE & CONSERVE MORE WATER: Last week, Governor Newsom signed an Executive Order to help accelerate state efforts to capture storm runoff in wet years by facilitating groundwater recharge projects and other conservation measures.
  2. FAST-TRACKING GROUNDWATER RECHARGE: The state is expanding groundwater recharge by at least 500,000 acre-feet in potential capacity – streamlining permits and $1 billion for groundwater recharge projects for 88,000 more acre-feet per year.
  3. MAXIMIZING STORMWATER CAPTURE: $176 million for 67 stormwater projects and streamlining permitting to take advantage of major storm events.
  4. EXPANDING STORAGE ABOVE & BELOW GROUND: California is supporting seven locally driven water storage projects that would expand the state’s capacity by 2.77 million acre-feet – about three times as much water as Folsom Lake can hold. And, California is working to expand San Luis Reservoir by 135,000 acre-feet to store more storm runoff.
  5. ADVANCING CLEAR, AMBITIOUS TARGETS: 142 actions to improve water resilience and bolster water supplies, and a roadmap for expanding urban stormwater capture capacity by 250,000 acre-feet and adding 4 million acre-feet of water storage capacity.
  6. MODERNIZING WATER INFRASTRUCTURE: California is working to modernize aging water conveyance systems across the state to safeguard long-term water reliability and help carry winter storm runoff into storage.

Leveraging a historic $8.6 billion committed by Governor Newsom and the Legislature to build water resilience, the state is taking aggressive action to prepare for the impacts of weather whiplash on the state’s water supplies. Governor Newsom is proposing an additional $202 million for flood protection and $125 million for drought related actions.

The state will continue to optimize water storage to support environmental needs in the summer and allow for carryover storage for next year if the spring becomes extremely dry. Additionally, the forecasted allocation could be adjusted back down if extreme dry conditions warrant. In addition to optimizing water storage, California continues to accelerate investments in habitat restoration, including $52 million in grants announced last week to help restore and protect fish and wildlife habitat throughout California.