The governor’s budget proposal for the next fiscal year offers an additional $750 million for drought response, building on the $880 million being allocated as the second half of a two-year drought package.
Of the $200 million for water conservation efforts within the package, just $20 million would focus on agricultural water use efficiency through a CDFA grant program. The Legislative Analyst’s Office (LAO) pointed to an older statistic estimating that agriculture accounts for 80% of human water use, compared to 20% for urban water use.
Looking for the best, most comprehensive and balanced news source in agriculture? Our Agri-Pulse editors don't miss a beat! Sign up for a free month-long subscription.
“The state might achieve more impact on its overall state water supply—in terms of demand reduction or increased supply—by targeting its efforts on the agricultural sector,” the analysts note in the report to the Legislature.
LAO also suggested lawmakers spend more than the “relatively modest” $30 million proposed for groundwater recharge, since it can add to the overall supply and provide flood protection benefits.