By Laurie Wayburn, co-founder and president of Pacific Forest Trust.

The California Water Fix/delta tunnels project is facing new challenges every day, most recently in regard to financing. Whether or not the state’s water suppliers support the plan, an essential piece is missing from the conversation: the potential of the state’s watersheds — the forests, meadows and streams that deliver water to our dams — to help solve California’s water problems.

Watershed conservation is also one of the least expensive solutions to ensure greater water quantity, quality and security. This “natural infrastructure” acts as the primary water collector and filter, purifying and storing water, then releasing it at timely intervals — all while maintaining healthy conditions in our fire-prone forests. Restoring and protecting our watersheds is something that nearly every water interest in California agrees on. (read more…)