Water Resilience Portfolio

As climate change continues to threaten the state’s water infrastructure and reliability, Governor Gavin Newsom  signed an executive order on April 29, 2019 directing his administration to think differently and act boldly by developing a comprehensive strategy to build a climate-resilient water system.

The order directs the secretaries of the California Natural Resources Agency, California Environmental Protection Agency and the California Department of Food and Agriculture to identify and assess a suite of complementary actions to ensure safe and resilient water supplies, flood protection and healthy waterways for the state’s communities, economy and environment. Nancy Vogel, Resources Agency, has been appointed to lead this effort.

The order seeks to broaden California’s approach on water as the state faces a range of existing challenges, including unsafe drinking water, major flood risks that threaten public safety, severely depleted groundwater aquifers, agricultural communities coping with uncertain water supplies and native fish populations threatened with extinction.

The order directs the state to think bigger and more strategically on water by directing the agencies to inventory and assess current water supplies and the health of waterways, future demands and challenges. The order also directs the agencies to recommend a suite of priorities and actions to build a climate-resilient water system and ensure healthy waterways. 


Input will be sought over the coming weeks and months through listening sessions, information workshops and other public meetings to help inform the water resilience portfolio that will be recommended to the Governor. Ms. Vogel has indicated she would like to get feedback from the IRWM planning regions about actions and principles that should be included in the portfolio, and also recommendations for the portfolio framework – how the state should approach developing regional water resiliency.


The most useful thing IRWM practitioners can do right how is submit to her our recommendations to the Portfolio. This feedback may reach her directly from each region or it may be siphoned through the Roundtable. Ms. Vogel suggested we should “think big,” based on our practical experience.


Potential Ideas include:

  • Using the IRWM structure as a framework to build and implement the Portfolio.



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