Letters and media can make an impact – just ask the California Water Commission (Commission). After multiple letters and a news article, the Commission just invited all the applicants seeking funding for storage projects from the Water Storage Investment Program that was a part of Proposition 1, for a second round of meetings to discuss the latest technical reviews that should be available April 20.
The initial timeframe to submit an application for funding was outlined in the Proposition and implemented by the Commission. The outline included a stipulated deadline for the applications, the general information required to obtain grant funds for the public benefits of the storage projects, and when the final decision would be made. All 12 applications submitted by the deadline were denied.
The Chamber highlighted the issue in its weekly publication Alert and sent a coalition letter as did many other organizations to the Commission and the Legislature.
In response, the Legislature prompted the Commission to re-open discussions with the applicants to clarify the lacking information. Shortly thereafter, the Commission initiated a three-week appeal process for the applicants to submit more information. The Commission has also scheduled two rounds of meetings with each applicant to review their submissions. For more information outlining these efforts on engagement see Commission’s website.
Investment in water storage projects is a significant priority for CalChamber and California, and the Commission’s effort at re-opening the application process is a great step towards achieving this goal.