On June 5, the Public Policy Institute of California released the Water and the California Economy report at a water summit in Sacramento featuring a panel with California Resources Secretary John Laird, Rex Hime of California Business Properties Association and OCBC President and CEO Lucy Dunn. CLICK HERE for the LIVELY discussion where Dunn warns, “If we don’t plan for growth, growth will plan us!”
While the state is a leader in water conservation efforts, several risks to the state’s water supply and management remain a threat to the economy, including catastrophic interruptions of water supplies from earthquakes, floods and drought, which would also jeopardize business and infrastructure investments that support economic growth. CLICK HERE for the full report.
U.S. Geological Survey predicts a 99 percent likelihood of a major earthquake in Southern California within the next 3 decades and 97 percent likelihood in Northern California. A large earthquake along one of five major fault lines could cause massive levee failures and could potentially end water exports for up to 2 years. In this event, South Orange County would run out of water in 3 days. Along with geological disruptions, inadequate water management and use is in need of innovation solutions, including water efficiency, reuse and storage.
Urban landscaping accounts for half of all urban water use, with residential water use accounting for more than two-thirds of urban use. The rapid growth in the production of other goods and services has reduced the need for an agriculture based economy, making up a large area for potential water savings. On average, non-farm sectors generate much more economic value per drop of water used. More innovative technology for water management is needed to increase the efficiency of water use throughout the state and across industry sectors. For more information contact Wallace Walrod, Chief Economic Advisor.