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Newsom Says It Takes ‘Absurd’ Amount Of Time For New Water Projects

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Sacramento, CA — California Governor Gavin Newsom is calling on state agencies to reduce the time it takes to move forward new water storage projects in the state.

It is part of a 19-page plan put out this morning to combat drought. It includes fast-tracking planned projects like the long-talked about $3.9-billion Sites Reservoir in Colusa County, and doubling the amount of recycled water capabilities in the state. At a press conference this morning, Newsom stated, “The time to get these dam projects (like Sites Reservoir) is ridiculous, absurd and reasonably comedic. In so many ways the world that we invented, from an environmental perspective, is now getting in the way of moving these projects forward that can address the acuities of Mother Nature…permits that take years and years and years.”

Newsom adds that he will be pushing forward related legislation at the state capitol to improve the permitting process.

The Newsom administration estimates that California’s precipitation from rain and snowpack that it currently collects will reduce by 10 percent by 2040 because of climate-related impacts.

Newsom also announced this morning that the state will step up efforts to acquire federal funds available for water related projects. Newsom announced the hiring of former Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa as his new “Infrastructure Advisor” to work with local, state and federal leaders to identify priority projects and seek out available federal dollars.