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How We View and Value Water in the Bay Region Kathleen Van Velsor. Environmental Planner- Sustainable Silicon Valley Wa PowerPoint Presentation
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How We View and Value Water in the Bay Region Kathleen Van Velsor. Environmental Planner- Sustainable Silicon Valley Water Summit, Dec. 7 th , 2009. Do you recognize this water body?. This one? . This one? Or this one? . Orientation to Bay Area Water.

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How We View and Value Water in the Bay RegionKathleen Van Velsor. Environmental Planner- Sustainable Silicon Valley Water Summit, Dec. 7th, 2009

orientation to bay area water
Orientation to Bay Area Water
  • We have an estimated 400 watersheds within the Bay Region before counting groundwater basins and sub-basins:
    • Each watershed has multiple land uses.
    • Degree of understanding of each watershed varies.
    • Many have not had basic hydrologic analyses performed and water flows are not gauged.
    • Some are well managed. Many have no comprehensive management regime.
orientation to bay area water1
Orientation to Bay Area Water
  • We import more water than any other hydrologic region of California.
  • We are expanding our imported supplies.
  • We are expanding water conservation and recycling – creating new cooperative networks
bay area water
Bay Area Water
  • In many instances, our growth and water consumption rates are on the same trajectory.
  • Many of the sub-regions are water challenged.
  • Conflict among suppliers and users is commonplace.
  • Heavy dependence on imported water supplies
    • especially Delta-based and Russian/Eel River-based
bay area water1
Bay Area Water
  • Poor data on how much water we have on hand in the region –
    • entitlements and how much we divert and pump.
  • Supplied by roughly 100 water retailers, wholesalers, contractors (local, state, federal) to a range of land uses -- each with their own governance
    • Commercial/industrial
    • Residential and mixed uses
    • Large landscapes and agricultural
frames
Frames
  • Views of water are framed by our common understandings and misunderstandings
    • Water is cheap relative to other commodities
    • Our projected needs for water are accurate
    • We are guaranteed a certain supply of water
    • Water needs to become more expensive to be reliable
    • Water is plentiful in the Bay Area– for the most part
    • Water generally comes from the tap (via reservoirs)
    • We don’t rely on local water or watersheds
    • Water supplies are fully protected from hazards
frames1
Frames
  • Our groundwater supplies are not challenged
  • Water experts will secure and protect supplies
  • There are secret supplies of water if push comes to shove -- the experts are holding out on us
  • Suburban communities and farmers waste water, but urban users do not
  • Smarter, dense growth means less water consumption
distinct world views of water and values associated with them
Distinct World Views of Water and Values Associated with Them
  • Bay Area water as coming from the tap (practical/reliable) through a pipe, channel (engineered) or water “temple” (divine and engineered)
distinct world views of water
Distinct World Views of Water
  • Bay Area water as Delta-sourced
distinct views of water sources
Bay Area reservoirs

Bay Area water as local creeks, rivers and ground waters

Sources in the Sierras/No. California

Tuolumne, Mokelumne, American Rivers

Russian River

Eel River

Distinct Views of Water Sources
distinct world views of water1
Distinct World Views of Water
  • Bay Area water as ocean-derived
    • Desalination as the future of water
distinct world views of water2
Distinct World Views of Water
  • Bay Area water as conservation-derived and reclaimed, recycled and captured
  • Land use planning as intimately tied to water resource planning
distinct world views of water3
Distinct World Views of Water
  • Water as a supply for industry and commerce
  • Water as an essential ingredient for habitat protection and restoration; fisheries management
holistic approach to water resource management in the region is it possible
Holistic approach to water resource management in the region? Is it possible?

As affected by a range of factors:

  • Rate and styles of growth and development
  • Conservation of water resource lands and waterways
  • Climate change
  • Ability to adopt decision strategy
  • Politics and socio-economics
  • Availability of talented professionals and citizen experts
  • Ability to cooperate and incorporate distinct world views
  • Ability to incorporate other models of management
  • Tendencies to shoot the messenger
  • Investments in styles of doing business
  • Objective assessment of water supplies, uses and projected uses
  • Adequacies of existing water resource management plans
  • Integrating land use planning and water resource management
  • Education about the wide array of water resources in the Bay Area