January 30, 2015

Help prepare Sustainable Water Plans

How can we encourage Bay Area water agencies to manage water more sustainably? As climate change threatens to destabilize the water supplies that California has long depended on, this question becomes increasingly important.

It’s easy to say what not to do: don’t take more water from our rivers, don’t transfer water among distant watersheds, don’t build more dams, generally don’t build desalination plants. It’s harder to say what we should do.

That’s why the Bay Chapter Water Committee is asking for your help in preparing Sustainable Water Plans.

In the first phase, currently under way, we’re determining the water-supply picture for each of the different local water agencies, trying to standardize units and definitions, and to construct graphic representations to facilitate comparisons.

Then we’ll examine each agency’s proposed 2020 per-capita water-use targets and future supply plans, as published in each agency’s 2010 Urban Water Management Plans. We’ll analyze projected growth assumptions, and where necessary disaggregate different types of customers. We’ll particularly focus on the third year of multi-year drought scenarios.

Finally we’ll develop a Sustainable Water Plan for how each agency could meet reasonable long-term water-supply needs at the lowest cost to customers, to watersheds and habitats, and to the general environment.

As an example of all these concerns, see the article on the Bay Area Water Supply and Conservation Agency on page 3 of the April-May Yodeler.


This is a great project for people interested in learning (or who already know) about the fascinating but technical details of water supply. Help us research and analyze water-supply data, prepare graphic presentations, and learn about water-supply alternatives and water-agency conservation programs.

To join in this or other Water Committee projects, contact co-chairs Charlotte Allen at c.allen@comcast.net; or (510)683-9552; or Sonia Diermayer at sodier@mindspring.com or (510)336-1102.

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