Flawed rate structures cost California water utilities half a billion dollars

Tara Lohan at Water Deeply had a great interview last week with Tom Ash of Southern California’s Inland Empire Water Agencies about the problem of water revenue in a time of conservation and drought: Tom Ash: What I learned is that it doesn’t matter where in the world – China, Chile, Spain, France, Italy, Israel …

Continue reading ‘Flawed rate structures cost California water utilities half a billion dollars’ »

Sorting out the Salton Sea mess

I joke that I kept trying to leave the Salton Sea out of my book, because it’s such a hairy problem that in threatened to derail me in so many ways. Of course I failed, because the Sea is a critical piece of solving the distributional problems of scarce Colorado River water. Agricultural reductions in …

Continue reading ‘Sorting out the Salton Sea mess’ »

The great water decoupling, San Diego edition

Ry Rivard in Voice of San Diego: As San Diego benefits from its new supplies of water, its customers are cutting their water use. That means San Diego now has more water than it needs. This is what I’m talking about Friday at the Law of the Colorado River conference. It’s the core of the …

Continue reading ‘The great water decoupling, San Diego edition’ »

A further note on California alfalfa exports: California is a net importer of virtual water

While we were blathering on mindlessly in a comment thread about the water exported form California via alfalfa exports, Peter Gleick helpfully jumped in with come actual data: California’s total water footprint is an estimated 64 million acre-feet of water. That’s more than double the amount of water that flows down both of the state’s …

Continue reading ‘A further note on California alfalfa exports: California is a net importer of virtual water’ »

Has the Peripheral Delta Tunnel Canal Thingie paralyzed California water?

OtPR has a super insightful observation about three decades of California water policy: The Peripheral Canal was voted down in 1982.  My sense is that the possibility of the Peripheral Canal has largely paralyzed California water policy since then (with the possible exception of IRWM).  If the Peripheral Canal had been entirely off the table, the regions …

Continue reading ‘Has the Peripheral Delta Tunnel Canal Thingie paralyzed California water?’ »

More California state money for the Salton Sea

California Gov. Jerry Brown has requested $80 in his new budget for dust mitigation and habitat restoration at the Salton Sea, Jesse Marx and Sammy Roth report: That’s less than the $150 million local officials wanted, but still far more than the state has ever allocated for restoration projects at the dying lake. The money …

Continue reading ‘More California state money for the Salton Sea’ »

The importance of local knowledge in groundwater management

UC Davis’s Thomas Harter makes an important point in a recent Public Policy Institute of California blog post about California’s evolving effort to manage its groundwater: The state’s new groundwater law requires locals to form groundwater sustainability agencies and develop sustainability plans, and it will be important for farmers and rural communities to actively engage …

Continue reading ‘The importance of local knowledge in groundwater management’ »

Sierra Madre, CA, introduces Colorado River water, winds up with “the Tucson problem”

Water is just water, right? What happened when Sierra Madre, a suburb northeast of Los Angeles, switched from local groundwater to imported Colorado River water is a reminder that, well, no: In 2013, Sierra Madre was forced to begin importing water from the Metropolitan Water District. That led to a new problem. The water source …

Continue reading ‘Sierra Madre, CA, introduces Colorado River water, winds up with “the Tucson problem”’ »

Decoupling in water, Los Angeles style

Fortunately, the L.A. Department of Water and Power has come a long way in the last 20 years. For a time, says McQuilken, managers balked at the idea that conservation and recycling could replace the Mono Basin losses. But since then, the utility has become one of the country’s most progressive. Take water conservation. Simple measures like …

Continue reading ‘Decoupling in water, Los Angeles style’ »