I commend the recent editorial, “All of Napa County needs to face the real threat of wildfire” (Feb. 27) and suggest a second such editorial where the word “fire” is replaced by “drought.”
As recently reported, Napa is experiencing the worst drought in our lifetimes. The Sierra snowpack which provides water for the State Water Project is down: The state has lowered its water allocation to 5% of what it promised. Napa’s cities collectively get 60% of their water from the state with American Canyon getting 100%. With 80% of Napa residents living in the cities, we need a master plan to supply them with water when the state water project is no longer able to deliver them their current allocations and their reservoirs are compromised by drought and/or polluting runoff.
The recent fires changed life for thousands. COVID-19 changed life for everyone. Now imagine what life will become when climate change diminishes our water supply through continued drought and salt-water intrusion.
It is time for a comprehensive discussion of our collective “Water Budget.” How much water do we have from all sources including groundwater, how much are we likely to have in the face of the climate emergency and who gets the water?
The state Sustainable Groundwater Management Act (SGMA) requires that each agency (in our case, the Board of Supervisors) shall establish in its plan a sustainability goal for the basin that culminates in the absence of undesirable results within 20 years of the applicable statutory deadline. SGMA is intended to strengthen the connection between land use planning and water management: no water, then no development.