The role of California’s forests in protecting and enhancing the state’s water supply for both drinking water and irrigated agriculture is in the spotlight, and with good reason—more than 60 percent of California’s developed water supply originates in the Sierra Nevada, before serving users throughout the state.
Recognizing the critical role forests, meadows and streams play in a time of climate change on both water quality and supply, this fall Gov. Brown signed Assembly Bill 2480 (Bloom, D-Santa Monica) into law, adding section 108.5 to the Water Code. AB 2480 adds to the growing trend across the United States and abroad of investing in “natural infrastructure” and enshrines in state policy the importance of forest management and watershed restoration by officially recognizing that watersheds supplying local, state and federal water systems are “integral components of California water infrastructure.” (Cal. Water Code § 108.5(a).)
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