California Water Czar Seeks Resource Collaboration, Not Combat

Bloomberg Environment –

For E. Joaquin Esquivel, California has made great strides in fighting climate change and transitioning to a cleaner energy sector.

Now, he said, it’s water’s turn.

“Water, I think, is ready for that moment,” said Esquivel, the chairman of the California State Water Resources Control Board who took over from longtime chair Felicia Marcus in February.

The board has a broad mandate to oversee water resources and drinking water for the protection of the environment, public health, and other uses. That includes managing water rights and dealing with rural water issues, the latter of which is the topic of an Oct. 8 webinar on which Esquivel is speaking.

Esquivel, 37, was named chairman by Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) in February, two months after the board ordered changes to water management in the Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta that angered agriculture interests, who said it would mean more water for fish and less for people.

Newsom at the time said Esquivel was the person to balance the state’s myriad water needs, from providing water to cities, to farms, and for the environment.

“We need a portfolio approach to building water infrastructure and meeting long-term demands,” Newsom said.

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