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Comment Sought Regarding Potential Drought Strategies

At the California Water Commission’s scheduled Wednesday, Nov. 15 meeting, as part of the work in support of Water Resilience Portfolio Action 26.3, Commission staff will present for discussion a draft white paper containing potential strategies to protect communities and fish and wildlife in the event of long-term drought.

Commission staff interviewed experts from both the U.S. and abroad and convened a working group of agencies and organizations with special knowledge and interest in the topic to develop preliminary drought strategies. Staff sought feedback on these preliminary strategies via Tribal small-group discussions, outreach to interested parties, and public workshops. With this input, the Commission proposes four potential drought strategies:

Scale Up Groundwater Recharge;

Conduct Watershed-level Planning to Reduce Drought Impacts to Ecosystems;

Better Position Communities to Prepare for and Respond to Drought Emergencies;

Support Improved Coordination, Information, and Communication in Drought and Non-drought Years.

These strategies are forward-looking, and build on work underway by California’s State agencies to suggest ways to help California better protect communities and fish and wildlife from the impacts of the state’s inevitable droughts. The Commission will present its final white paper to the Secretaries for Agriculture, Environmental Protection, and Natural Resources, who requested the Commission’s engagement on this topic.

The Commission will receive public comments at the Nov. 15, 2023, Commission meeting. Comments can also be submitted to until Dec. 15, 2023. Commission staff will consider feedback from the Commission and the public to produce a final draft of the white paper that will be presented to the Commission for approval at the January 2024 meeting.

The nine-member California Water Commission uses its public forum to explore water management issues from multiple perspectives and to formulate recommendations to advise the director of the California Department of Water Resources, and as appropriate, the California Natural Resources Agency, the Governor and Legislature on ways to improve water planning and management in response to California’s changing hydrology. For more information regarding the California Water Commission visit