By Elizabeth Zach, RCAC staff writer

water access lidAlthough California’s Legislature is required to spend cap-and-trade money on carbon emission reduction projects, some experts say that helping rural water districts—namely in the state’s Central Valley—would go a long way toward easing climate change effects.

California’s climate laws mandate that the revenue from its Greenhouse Gas Reduction Fund can only fund projects that reduce carbon emissions. But according to the Environmental Defense Fund, fighting contamination in the Central Valley’s water systems would broaden resilience against climate change.

“Gov. Newsom’s budget adviser said using the fund to upgrade fouled water systems would reduce the need to truck in bottled water, thereby cutting emissions,” writes David Festa in Cal Matters. Festa is senior vice president of ecosystems at the Environmental Defense Fund. “Whether or not you agree with the decision, it has opened an important conversation about how to best allocate resources in a changing climate, and it has exposed the shortcomings of siloed thinking.”

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