California’s Central Coast depends on both groundwater and surface water to support its main economic staples: tourism and agriculture. This region faces ongoing water quality challenges including algal blooms, turbidity events, and saltwater intrusion. Our research team held a regional workshop at the Salinas City Hall on July 27th with the support of Gary Petersen from the City of Salinas Public Works. Jan Sweigert of the North Coastal Branch of the State Water Resources Control Board’s Division of Drinking Water and Heather Lukacs from the Environmental Justice Coalition for Water helped our team pull together a group of 25 local stakeholders to discuss drought impacts, challenges, and needs for long-term resilience. Workshop attendees represented drinking water utility managers, city, state, regional, county, and local governments, military, nonprofit organizations, research institutions, and agricultural interests. A huge thank you to Gary, Heather, Jan, and all of the workshop participants for attending and sharing their experiences with the most recent California drought.
Stay tuned for information on our upcoming Forum on Drought Resilience for Small Systems in Sacramento, California. This forum is jointly hosted by the UC Davis Policy Institute and the Environmental Justice Coalition for Water.