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California's Drought Mitigation Plan

As a council member of Saratoga, I led the Water Oversight Committee efforts to combat the San Jose Water Company from unnecessary rate increases - find the summary here. As your congressman, I will continue to protect the people of Silicon Valley from artificially high water rates. We must build a future plan to address the growing population needs of the Bay Area. An infrastructure plan has to be in place.

California’s water problem fix

Rishi Kumar is committed to address the water challenges of California, particularly Silicon Valley. It is very important that Silicon Valley has a sustainable urban community given that the American economy hinges upon Silicon Valley’s success. Rishi supports the California Water Supply Strategy.

Currently, California lacks the tools to enforce sturdy oversight and management over the use of water. Many of the submitted plans ever since the introduction of the 1983 Urban Water Management Planning Act have neglected the importance of supply and demand. Their approach also lacks incentives for conservation. Regulation should be as narrowly tailored as possible as centralized water policies can easily overlook the intricate, regionalized needs of the state. Submitting plans to the California Department of Water Resources should be required instead of voluntary. The plans should permit “local entities to control extractions from the groundwater basin.” This will help us directly tackle the continuous droughts that affect the safety of Californians. According to the Public Policy Institute of California, we must implement “water adequacy screening for new development” which would ensure housing growth simultaneously. For long-term water planning, we must implement sustainable policies and look to new sources of water supply such as “underground storage, recycling, and desalination.” We must also improve California’s groundwater management as some parts of the state struggle with full groundwater utilization, leading to problems of overdraft (averaging between 1 and 2 million acre-feet per year, according to the Water Education Foundation) that are associated with higher energy costs, toxicity, and land subsidence. This can be accomplished by reauthorizing the 2014 Sustainable Groundwater Management Act in order to distinguish between surface water and private property rights as well as to require details about how much water an individual can pump.

Potential Projects

Here are the projects that I am advocating for on behalf of the future sustainability of Silicon Valley

  • Finish retrofitting and expand capacity of the Anderson Dam
  • Expand Los Vaqueros Reservoir under Contra Costa Water District’s Proposal
  • Expand Pachecho Reservoir from 5,500 to 140,000 acre feet
  • Accelerate the Temperance Flat Project on the San Joaquin River
  • California should reignite project discussions regarding the damming of rivers, which would result in more than 1,000 reservoirs. California should re-evaluate the benefits of boosting water flows for fish and creating recreational opportunities such as boating
  • Call for the active collaboration of the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission, Santa Clara Valley Water District, and East Bay Municipal Utility District to come up with a master plan to ensure the future sustainability of Silicon Valley
  • Push the Santa Clara Valley Water district to build a new Pacheco Pass reservoir in collaboration with the San Benito County Water District
water infrastructure map meeting
Other Priorities