As California counts its water reserves in months, which “shovel ready” solutions can help it respond?
More than $320M of California’s emergency drought relief funds were left unspent a year after they were approved, according to reports from the California State Finance Department released last week. As the State starts a grim countdown to the limits of its reservoirs, the timeframes on the California water crisis has suddenly shifted from years to months, California’s water system has been built with 25 year capital plans, where even the fast-track water projects take 2 to 6 years to complete.
“We need to get the money out the door now for shovel-ready projects and existing water programs that only need funding to get started. No delay. No red tape.” California Senate President pro Tempore Kevin de León (D-Los Angeles) stated back in March.
While the State scrambles to keep water running, water tech innovations that are both “shovel ready” but also built for plug and play installation are gaining attention. Laura Shenkar from Artemis joined Frances Spivy-Weber, Vice-Chair of the State Water Resources Control Board, Lance Donny, founder and CEO of OnFarm, Mike Lord, vice president of engineering for Effluent Free Desalination Corp (EFD) and Robin Gilthorpe, CEO of WaterSmart on June 5 to discuss some examples on public radio, the KQED Forum.