Notes from Bay Area Infrastructure Dialogue (2004)
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Will Sacramento Support Smart Growth in the Bay Area?
Bay Area Alliance for Sustainable Communities
Bay Area Infrastructure Priorities to 2024
May 18, 2004
Facilitator: Nick Bollman, California Center for Regional Leadership
Framing of the Day: The purpose of today's session is to brief the group on current developments in state
infrastructure policy and the impacts of these policies on the ongoing efforts of the Bay Area Alliance.
Welcome from Amy Dominguez-Arms, The James Irvine Foundation
I. Ellen Hanak, Research Fellow, Public Policy Institute of California
- The California 2025 Report, conducted by PPIC in partnership with CCRL, PolicyLink, and others, will address
data and public perceptions about important growth challenges and infrastructure needs over the
next 20 years, with a focus on public and private investment choices. Results will be released as a report in
January 2005 and shared with groups statewide in the spring of 2005.
- The premise of the California 2025 Report is that California hasn't been keeping up with infrastructure
spending and investment in many sectors, including schools, water, and transportation. PPIC polling shows
that the public is largely unaware of the challenges we face in these areas and the options available.
- Managing water in California has become more challenging and more diffi cult over the years. We used to
solve problems by building more conveyance systems – a solution that has led to more problems, like inadequate
attention to environmental impacts and water quality.
- Population growth is driving greater demand: we will need 2 million acre-feet more supply by 2025. What
are the options to respond to the growing challenge of providing clean drinking water to 46 million people?
We cannot just build more surface storage to solve this problem.
- How do we fund new capacity? What are the institutional constraints? How will public-private partnerships
- Improved science has made it possible to detect contaminants in lesser amounts and fi nd more dangerous
chemicals. One-third of our drinking-water sources have exceeded standards on one or more contaminants.
- The response of local and regional governments to these contaminants has been to administer more
stringent regulations. Pressure on municipal and county governments to manage stormwater runoff,
which is increasing with increased amounts of paved surfaces, is growing. How much should the state
and federal governments help locals to fund these efforts? Are other options for mitigating stormwater
run-off available? Solutions include high-tech cleaning, collaboration with builders, and regional approaches
such as watershed management.