How well is California weathering the drought?

Peter Gleick runs down some of the impacts of California’s remarkable drought: [W]ater still comes out of my tap, in unrestricted amounts and superb quality, at a reasonable price. And this is true of every resident in the state: drinking water supplies have not been affected, especially for the vast majority of the population that …

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Isenberg: Drought amplifies, not causes, water problems

Smart words from Phil Isenberg, California’s water sage: [O]ur historic population and economic growth—and the social and individual choices we have made—explain the water and environmental problems we face today. Unless we acknowledge that water supplies are limited, and act to temper our water use, we will limp toward the next drought, and act surprised when …

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Jagger, Richards and Steinberg on the California water bond

California state senator Darrel Steinberg on the California water bond: In the water world, you can’t always get everything you want, but there’s a whole lot in this bond that California needs. Mick Jagger and Keith Richards on (I think) taking a lot of drugs and getting laid: You can’t always get what you want …

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In the West, what used to be snow, falling as rain

If I was trying to manage water in California, these maps would give me the heebie-jeebies. It’s from a new paper (AGU-walled) by Zion Klos and colleagues extending our knowledge of the shift from snow to rain in the high country of the western United States as a result of warming temperatures. Here’s why this …

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California: a young state’s first drought, “an abundant crop of irrigation schemes”

The state’s first protracted drought occurred in 1868 and lingered on until 1872 or 1873. The west side of the San Joaquin Valley suffered most. There the wheat crop was a total loss in 1870 and 1871, and by the fall of the latter year the parched valley had turned to dust…. [B]anks foreclosed on …

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The L.A. River – when “wasted” water isn’t wasted

It seems like a no brainer. Stop wasting that water! Put it to good use! But when we’re talking about things like lining irrigation canals (see for exmample the All-American Canal saga, pdf here) or cleaning up and re-using sewage, it’s critical to ask the question: If we don’t do this, where will that water …

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In western water, what’s the right role for the feds?

After spending the day reading about the federal government’s, shall we say, persuasive role in assisting Imperial Valley farmers that it was in their best interests to figure out a way to share a bit of their water across San Gorgonio Pass with the city folk to their west, I this evening ran across this: …

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Pollution cleanup as a solution to water supply shortfalls

As Southern California looks at its next water supply steps, one of the top items on its agenda is cleaning up groundwater contamination. It’s cheaper than building more storage. So says MWD’s Jeff Kightlinger: I think you’re going to see the next wave of investments over the next decades in Southern California focused around issues …

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Endangered species and the question of federal discretion

Simply put, no environmental law has had as much impact on western rivers–or created as much controversy–as section 7 of the ESA. – Reed Benson I’m on record as arguing that the Endangered Species Act is a terrible water management tool, while simultaneously being not terribly effective as an environmental tool. But you manage water …

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