SACRAMENTO, Calif. – While California’s drought outlook is improving, the State is continuing to proactively prepare for a return to dry conditions amid climate-driven extremes in weather. Today, Department of Water Resources (DWR) is officially launching a standing Drought Resilience Interagency and Partners (DRIP) Collaborative, which will include members of the public. Community members and water users are encouraged to apply.
Initiated by Senate Bill 552, the DRIP Collaborative will foster partnerships between local governments, experts, community representatives and state agencies to address drought planning, emergency response, and ongoing management. Members will help ensure support for community needs and anticipate and mitigate drought impacts, especially for small water supplier and rural communities who are often more vulnerable to droughts.
While recent storms have filled many of the state’s reservoirs to average or above average levels and improved water conditions, much of the state remains in drought following the past three years of extreme drought – the state’s driest on record.
“Even as the state’s drought outlook improves, it’s critical that the water community all work together to advance drought planning and response for the state’s hotter, drier future,” said DWR Director Karla Nemeth. “We’re looking for a variety of representatives statewide to actively participate on behalf of all water users to achieve a drought resilient future.”
The DRIP Collaborative will include a total of 26 members, comprising state agency representatives and two appointees from each of the following groups: local governments, community-based organizations, Tribes, nonprofit technical assistance providers, the general public, agriculture, environmental representatives, public water systems, small water suppliers or urban water agencies, and experts in land use planning, water resilience, or water infrastructure.
DWR is accepting Letters of Interest until February 24, 2023, and DWR will announce selected members of the DRIP Collaborative in spring 2023. Members will be chosen based on answers to a series of questions about their background, available time commitment and expected contributions to the Collaborative. Interested parties can visit the DWR website for more information on how to submit Letters of Interest.
The first meeting is scheduled for April 6, 2023. Meetings will occur tri-annually and will be open to the public. DRIP Collaborative meetings will coordinate multiple state agencies to present the current and projected drought conditions the State is experiencing, discuss potential impacts in small water supplier and rural communities, challenges on-the-ground based on water community expertise, and align state programs, funding, and strategies to anticipate and proactively address climate-driven effects. The Drought Resilience Interagency and Partners Collaborative will serve as a public forum to address drought-related issues and solutions across a State interagency team.
For more information about the Drought Resilience Interagency and Partners Collaborative, visit DWR’s DRIP Collaborative webpage.
Allison Armstrong, Information Officer, Public Affairs, Department of Water Resources
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