From PPIC (Public Policy Institute of California – The PPIC Water Policy Center was asked by the Newsom administration to submit formal comments outlining key water policy priorities for the state—and ways to integrate actions across state agencies to implement these priorities. Our recommendations will inform the administration’s preparation of a water resilience portfolio. We address two key areas where the state can play a leading role—modernizing the water grid and protecting freshwater ecosystems. California’s “water grid”—the network of reservoirs, aquifers, rivers, and water conveyance and flood control infrastructure that connects much of the state—was built for a climate that no longer exists. Yet it is the most important asset the state has for addressing changing conditions, both statewide and within regions. A modernized water grid, coupled with more flexible management, can reduce the cost of future droughts, improve how we manage flood risk, and help protect freshwater ecosystems. The state has made important advances in assessing and improving its water supply infrastructure, but it still lacks a comprehensive program to address storage, conveyance, and operational challenges in the next few decades. (more)