To fix Oroville, they shut down a river. Then built a road.

This Bee aerial video of the work on the Feather River to try to cope with the problems at Oroville Dam is an amazing illustration of the scale of human intervention in rivers: Click through for the full video, no one screen grab can do it justice. They’ve completely shut down the spillway so they …

Continue reading ‘To fix Oroville, they shut down a river. Then built a road.’ »

A nice storage bump for Colorado River reservoirs, but they’re still pretty empty

Talking this week to members of the Colorado River water governance brain trust at the Family Farm Alliance‘s annual gathering in Las Vegas, there was a weird vibe about the big snowpack building in the Rockies. My quick take based on the February USBR modeling plus the latest forecast info from the CBRFC Lake Powell …

Continue reading ‘A nice storage bump for Colorado River reservoirs, but they’re still pretty empty’ »

California’s finally wet enough that the Metropolitan Water District of So Cal could store this year

This is a big deal: The Metropolitan Water District of Southern California, which gathers water for 19 million people in the region, expects it can now begin storing water for future years. In recent years, it had been using up its water reserves. It’s just one bit of a thoroughly excellent piece on the state …

Continue reading ‘California’s finally wet enough that the Metropolitan Water District of So Cal could store this year’ »

I’ll be on KQED tomorrow, 9:30 Pacific Time, talking water

Hey San Francisco Bay Area friends, I’ll be on your radios tomorrow (Friday 12/30/16) at 9:30 am Pacific time. I’ll explain how to solve all the water problems. Actually, I think thanks to the Internet thing you may be able to listen even if you don’t have a radio and/or are not in the Bay …

Continue reading ‘I’ll be on KQED tomorrow, 9:30 Pacific Time, talking water’ »

In western water management, the rest of us nervously watch California

One of my new lectures this semester for UNM Water Resources Program students tackled the question of where and how you draw boundaries around a water management problem. The example I worked through was the Colorado River and the U.S.-Mexico border. You have water management institutions and governance that are largely separate on each side …

Continue reading ‘In western water management, the rest of us nervously watch California’ »

The Sacramento Delta-Colorado River connection

LA Times on the eve of the release of the EIS on Sacramento Delta water diversion tunnels: Talks are ongoing over the Colorado River, where drought and increasing demand from Arizona and Nevada may reduce California’s share. If the tunnels are never built, the Met will need to drive a harder bargain on the Colorado to …

Continue reading ‘The Sacramento Delta-Colorado River connection’ »

conservation undercuts the desalination business model

“Decoupling” – when resource use is no longer inextricably linked to population or economic growth – is a central feature of water management right now in the western United States. (See here for a deeper dive.) The LA Times’ Bettina Boxall had a great story over the weekend that illustrates its impact on a proposal …

Continue reading ‘conservation undercuts the desalination business model’ »

California’s Bay-Delta and the Endangered Species Act

Ellen Hanak and colleagues at the Public Policy Institute of California stuck their necks out last week with a scheme to move California’s Bay-Delta water conflict forward. It has a number of elements – I’d like to focus here on its proposal to “manage water for ecosystems, not just endangered species”: To improve the effectiveness …

Continue reading ‘California’s Bay-Delta and the Endangered Species Act’ »

Webinar tomorrow with Sharon Megdal, Jay Lund, and me

The  folks at the Security and Sustainability Forum are doing a webinar tomorrow around some of the issues in my book, about water governance, resilience, and sustainability. I am especially jazzed about the company – Sharon Megdal from the University of Arizona’s Water Resources Research Center and Jay Lund from the University of California Davis Center …

Continue reading ‘Webinar tomorrow with Sharon Megdal, Jay Lund, and me’ »