It will take up to $500 billion to improve the state's water infrastructure to improve supplies, reduce flood risk and shore up the fragile ecosystems that provide water for people, farms and wildlife, the state's top natural resources officials said in a long-awaited update to California's water plan.
"Water is going to cost more for Californians in the future," said Mark Cowin, director of the state department of water resources, in a conference call with reporters on Thursday. "That's a reality we're all going to have to get used to."
California is in its third year of a catastrophic drought that has dried up wells and forced farmers to leave fields fallow. But the state has long struggled to meet the water needs of thirsty cities and its mammoth agricultural sector, prompting a century of political fights between the wetter north and the drier south….
A shot of a parched California field from Marine One, White House photo