From Crisis to Connectivity: Renewed Thinking About Managing California’s Water and Food Supply released in 2014 by the California Roundtable on Water and Food Supply (CRWFS), a project of Ag Innovations, describes the connectivity approach, a whole-systems framework to proactively address California’s increasingly complex water and food supply challenges. Including guiding principles for connected thinking, institutional linkages, and public & stakeholder engagement, the report points to successful examples of this approach, further detailed in Applying the Connectivity Approach: Water and Food Supply Projects in California that Connect, Link, and Engage.
“Win/win solutions for agriculture and the environment happen at the intersection of agriculture, community interests, and government, and would not be possible without a group like Ag Innovations bringing leaders together to collaborate and create new ways of thinking about the most pressing issues of our time.”
It is evident that water crises in California are not new. In recent times, however, record drought, groundwater contamination and overdraft, environmental impacts, aging infrastructure, a growing population, competing water needs, and climate change have further elevated the sense of urgency in addressing California’s water quality, supply reliability, and food production.
Recognizing the complex and long-term nature of these challenges, CRWFS began a yearlong series of dialogues focused on what the members believe is the major impediment to resolving these issues—widespread disconnection—and identifying a new, strategic and unified approach to addressing them.
From Crisis to Connectivity: Renewed Thinking About Managing California’s Water and Food Supply describes the resulting connectivity approach. The report provides a whole-systems framework for applying the concept of connectivity to our water management decisions, including guiding principles for:
- Connected thinking
- Institutional linkages
- Public and stakeholder engagement
Various food and water management projects are already underway throughout the state that apply these guiding principles and generate the sorts of connected-benefit solutions described in the report. Several of these are featured in the accompanying booklet, Applying the Connectivity Approach: Water and Food Supply Projects in California that Connect, Link, and Engage.