Sandi Matsumoto is The Nature Conservancy’s Director of the California Water Program. She leads a multi-disciplinary team focused on securing a sustainable and resilient water future for California. The Water Program is working to secure the wintering grounds of the Pacific Flyway, to revive healthy rivers to sustain salmon, and to advance sustainable groundwater management that ensures drinking water for people and supports nature. During her tenure with TNC (which began in 2004), she has worked at the nexus of water and agriculture across the state, including by launching BirdReturns and TNC’s efforts to implement the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act. A Central Valley native, she earned her B.A. from Yale University and M.B.A. from the Anderson School at UCLA. In 2017, she was appointed by Governor Brown to serve as a board member on the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta Conservancy. She is also a member of the first cohort of the Water Solutions Network.
- Earth Day message, April 2021
- The Water Beneath our Feet presentation, July 2020
- “A more nimble brand of conservation might look like an Airbnb business model. Rent, Don’t buy.” - Anthropocene Magazine article, July 2020
- “California must embrace groundwater management, and expand it” - CalMatter op-ed, September 2019
- “California Groundwater Regulation Hangs on a Few Words” - Circle of Blue article, May 2016
Drought Impacts Increase Due to Imbalanced Water Management
July 12, 2021
As Californians experience one of the most extreme dry years in recorded history, drought impacts are made more severe by a lack of planning and through imbalanced water management practices across our state—resulting in salmon die-offs already occurring in the North Coast, likely die-offs ahead in the Sacramento River, a high potential for migratory birds to succumb to diseases, and a loss of drinking water for communities in the Central Valley.
The drought affects us all. As I think about the future my son is inheriting, our approach to water management must include the species and natural systems that make our water, our air, our food, and our existence possible. If we continue on the current trajectory, one-half of the plants and animals that are dependent on freshwater could go extinct in this century. This future is closer than you think—but we can still act now to ensure water is managed more sustainably.