Press Release

Hertzberg’s Drought Resilient Communities Act to Invoke Action against Looming “Megadrought”

March 23, 2021

SACRAMENTO – Today, Californians find themselves staring down another climate emergency – this time, it’s drought. The Department of Water Resources (DWR) announced it expects to deliver a mere 5 percent of requested water supplies this year – a low we have not seen since the last historic drought.

These crippling shortages threaten every facet of our daily lives. While water conservation is now woven into the ethos of most Californians, thanks in part to Legislative efficiency efforts championed by Hertzberg in 2018, conservation alone will not solve the entirety of our supply problem. Without reliable water, farming in California as we know it will be sacrificed – some Central Valley farmers are already being told not to plant this year.

“I have been working on water issues for decades,” said Senate Majority Leader Bob Hertzberg (D – Van Nuys). “The good news is we are better prepared than last time, but our reality is still grim. With 91% of the state already in drought conditions, we must learn from our past mistakes and help communities most at risk. There is too much at stake.”

Senator Hertzberg introduced SB 552 to protect vulnerable communities from extended periods of water shortages by making changes to local drought and water shortage plans. These tools are more important now than ever for communities hit hardest by drought, and will help ensure water security for all Californians.

“As I’ve said time and time again – every Californian should be able to turn on their tap and expect clean water to flow,” continued Hertzberg. “We must remain vigilant in protecting this fundamental right in light of DWR’s recent announcement. This will take careful and thoughtful planning, which is exactly what my bill (SB 552) intends to do. Today’s news from the DWR shows the latest water crisis isn’t just coming – it’s already here.”

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Media Contact: Cindy Baker
Cindy.Baker@sen.ca.gov
Communications Director
Senator Robert M. Hertzberg
Capitol Building, Room 313
(530)966-4143