Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00
0:00
Available On Air Stations
Environment

California Gets Mixed Grades For Drought Policy

Water spouts splash into the San Diego County Water Park with the County Administration and the San Diego skyline in the background, June 27, 2015.
Laura Wingard
Water spouts splash into the San Diego County Water Park with the County Administration and the San Diego skyline in the background, June 27, 2015.

California Gets Mixed Grades For Drought Policy
There is both good and bad news on a new report card evaluating California's response to a long-punishing drought.

California got mixed reviews from a prominent environmental group that assessed state efforts to deal with a long-running and punishing drought.

The Natural Resources Defense Council report card gave California mixed grades. The group looked at five areas and measured performance.

The survey found state officials should be rewarded for efforts to promote urban conservation and water recycling.

"The state is doing pretty well in its efforts to reduce the amount of water used in our cities. And is making pretty good progress in encouraging more water recycling," said Kate Poole, senior attorney at Natural Resources Defense Council.

The state got poor marks on agricultural conservation and stormwater capture. California also got a failing grade for efforts to restore the San Francisco Bay Delta. A lot of the state's drinking water moves through the delta.

Poole said government officials have proven they can do well.

"Where the state has defined clear and ambitious goals, set requirements to meet those goals and then provided funding and assistance to achieve them — that's pretty much how we've approached achieving more than 25 percent savings in our cities during the drought," Poole said.

The report is not a final assessment, but a progress report, Poole said.

Poole hopes El Niño-fueled storms will focus attention on the stormwater issue.