Capture Storm Water to Ease Shortage

Target: Rebecca Bauer-Kahan, Chair of the California State Assembly Water, Parks, and Wildlife Committee

Goal: Support investment in stormwater capture technology and changes to detrimental permit process.

California was in the midst of a years-long drought, until extreme flooding from brutal winter storms deluged many parts of the state in water. While the rains did cause chaos, they also brought a ray of hope that stormwater could be captured, stored, and used to help badly parched lands and communities in the future. Unfortunately, that hope seems to be diminishing due to decades-old disputes and red tape.

Even as the floods came and caused real risk to communities and to the environment, they escaped into the ocean almost as quickly. Using aquifers and other structures to corral the water requires permits that can take months to approve, if they are approved at all. The century-plus old water rights system in California favors entities that already have permits and claim ownership over the water, leaving smaller regions at a disadvantage.

Water is an essential form of sustenance, and it should be equally available to all. Sign the petition below to demand the state reform a system that is turning water rights into water segregation.


Dear Chair Bauer-Kahan,

The governor’s plan for local agencies to capture 500,000 acre-feet of water every year would help a state too prone to dehydration, but the investment needs to be real both financially and legally. Archaic rules about water permits and so-called water rights recently helped lead to the loss of a deluge of stormwater that could have ultimately benefitted Californians immensely. Denying communities– disproportionately small communities–access to an essential component of life in no way qualifies as an affirmation of rights. Climate change will only worsen this problem and imminent crisis.

Please introduce legislation to fix the age-old deficiencies in the Water Resources Control Board before the next opportunity is lost.


[Your Name Here]

Photo Credit: Nur Andi Ravsanjani Gusma

One Comment

  1. This idea has promise. Since the rains cause so much damage it is more wasteful not to capture the water to fight against the dryness which always follows. Fingers crossed it works

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