From The Washington Times:

California Gov. Gavin Newsom signaled the sea change last month when he unveiled a strategy that calls for major investments in desalination and storage – but no mandatory cutbacks to water use – that include moving ahead with the Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta water tunnel and the Sites Reservoir.

Environmental groups were less than thrilled with the infrastructure emphasis, but Steven Greenhut, Western region director of the free-market group R Street in Sacramento, called the governor’s plan “music to my ears.”

“We need to promote a policy of abundance, trying to get more water into the system,” said Mr. Greenhut, author of “Winning the Water Wars” (2020). “I’m not against conservation or anything like that, it’s just that there’s a point of diminishing returns. We have to also look at ways to improve the amount of water that we store during light [moisture] years.”

Focusing on supply as well as demand

That means moving beyond conservation and embracing a host of technologies and strategies aimed at enhancing supply.

“We have 40 million people. We haven’t built significant water infrastructure since the 1970s, when the population was roughly half of what it is. We have a growing population,” Mr. Greenhut said. “On the climate issue, my argument is that instead of embracing state policies that are designed to change the entire globe’s climate, we need to embrace policies as a state that make us more resilient, whatever the climate sends our way.”

Mr. Greenhut said using less is not enough. “We have a status quo that’s just, we can conserve more, we can conserve more. But we need water,” he said.

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