Editor’s Note: 2016 – A Year of Change
It seems everywhere we turn in California, a drought has gripped our major sources of water. But nothing to date has been as long as the dry period on the Colorado River, the mighty lifeblood of the South west that snakes through seven states and Mexico.
At 15 years and counting, the Colorado drought has more than 10 years on California’s drought. But the Colorado’s two massive reservoirs – Mead and Powell – have stored water collected over several years. The fear of a shortage being declared on the river was skirted for 2016, but that could change in 2017 as you can read in this issue of Western Water.
This coming year, we will see if El Niño will make a dent in the Southwest’s more than usual aridity. As of now, it’s still unknown. So much will depend on the amount, timing and location of the snow and rain.
But change is definitely in the air this coming year with Western Water, our flagship publication first published in 1977. Starting in 2016, it will become a quarterly instead of a bimonthly magazine. The new quarterly will be a more robust magazine with regular profiles of people and places key to water issues. And we will still publish an in-depth article of a pressing issue, the kind of coverage that is mostly missing in today’s newspapers. Don’t be shy; let us know how you like the new magazine when it comes out.
And new to our tour line-up in 2016 is a two-day San Diego trip in May with a highlight being the new ocean desalination plant in Carlsbad. At a cost of $1 billion to build, the plant just recently began operations.
Even if El Niño helps this year, will extended dry periods be the “new normal” in California as some have suggested? We will attempt to answer that question at our annual conference, the Executive Briefing, which will be held on St. Patrick’s Day on March 17.
And don’t forget about Water 101, coming up in early February 2016 in the Sacramento area. This once-a-year event is a good opportunity for anyone wanting to go beyond the headlines and gain a deeper understanding of the history, hydrology and legal system behind California water.
You can find more information about all of our tours and conferences on our website: www.watereducation.org/tours-events.
I hope 2016 will be a year filled with good health and happiness for all of our readers, and with luck more snow in the mountains.
– Jennifer Bowles