The Salton Sea and the risk of failure

While I was writing my book about the future of Colorado River water management, I joked about my efforts to leave the Salton Sea out of the story. It was only sort of a joke. The problems of the Salton Sea, an inland water body fed by agricultural drainage from the Imperial Valley, are an …

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I talked on the radio about my book

I miss y’all! So busy being person-selling-a-book while simultaneously being person-teaching-grad-students-about-water. I have much to say, frustrated that I don’t have enough time to write about it all here, but Steve Goldstein at KJZZ helped me share some of my ideas with Phoenix radio listeners. Thanks to the magic of the Internet, you can listen in …

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wastewater reuse

The language here is so delicate, which is in itself an interesting issue: It is now possible to imagine a future in which highly treated wastewater will be plumbed directly into California homes as a new drinking water supply. That’s Matt Weiser on California’s next big step in institutionally normalizing “direct potable reuse” – the treatment of …

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rainfall variability is for not fighting over

Fascinating new paper by Lewis Davis at Union College (gated) arguing that the need for collaboration in early agricultural societies with highly variable rainfall led to the development of cultural norms of not fighting over water: The link between rainfall variation and individual responsibility draws on an extensive theoretical and empirical literature on risk sharing among …

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When do we stop calling what’s happening on the Colorado River “shortage”?

Putting together a lecture for University of New Mexico Water Resources Program students tomorrow, I’ve been thinking about this quote from MWD’s Bill Hasencamp, in last week’s LA Times: “Basically, what the models say is that, in the future, most years will be shortage years,” said Bill Hasencamp, the manager of Colorado River resources for …

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Some optimistic words on the Colorado Basin from Doug Kenney

The University of Colorado’s Doug Kenney is sounding genuinely optimistic in this recent take on the Colorado River’s problems over at Carpe Diem West: Throughout the basin, a lot of really good innovations are occurring. Conservation has, rightly, emerged as a credible management tool, and not merely something for the hippies to talk about. Cooperation …

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