California’s vast water infrastructure is likely the most extensive in the world. It includes the tallest dam in the nation and enormous state and federal water projects that tap rivers flowing from as far away as Wyoming.
On September 27th, Governor Brown signed legislation that recognizes the state’s watersheds as part of it’s infrastructure. Just as the state’s canals and levees need maintenance and repair, so do our rivers and watersheds. This bill opens the door to using modern infrastructure financing approaches to protect and repair rivers and watersheds. Infrastructure bonds can now be used for restoration and protection. Likewise, it will be easier for utilities to justify investment in watershed restoration. Importantly, watershed degradation should now go on the books as value lost to deferred maintenance. The cost of deferred maintenance and asset condition will be two parts of the State Treasurer’s infrastructure inventory. This inventory should now value California’s watersheds as key water supply assets, on par with pipes and levees… Read more from AmericanRivers.org