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.
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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.