Across the Southwest, investors are banking on water scarcity.
They are buying up farms and ranches as states explore new
programs that could make it easier to sell and transfer water.
… Today a new type of investor has started eyeing water in
the basin, less intent on building a new community than on
supporting existing ones within one of the nation’s fastest
The water keeps rising, shrinking the window for implementing
solutions. Sea-level rise already threatens the bay shore,
which, at about 500 miles, is half the length of the entire
California coast. The worst is yet to come: The Bay Area needs
to plan for a 2-foot rise by 2050 and up to 7 feet by 2100.
The imbalance on the Colorado River needs to be addressed, and
agriculture, as the biggest water user in the basin, needs to
be part of a fair solution. But drying up vital food-producing
land is a blunt tool. It would damage our local food-supply
chains and bring decline to rural communities that have
developed around irrigated agriculture.
The 2008 financial market crash was called a “black swan” event
— an extreme catastrophic event that was not anticipated. We
hope that when a catastrophic dam failure occurs in the United
States it will not be called a black swan, since there is
already strong evidence that the combination of aging and
poorly maintained infrastructure and climate extremes could be
A recent study published in the journal Science helps explains
why, revealing that the south-western US is in the grip of a
20-year megadrought – a period of severe aridity that is
stoking fires, depleting reservoirs and putting a strain on
water supplies to the states of the region.
The report could revive past attempts to mine uranium in the
Los Padres National Forest in San Luis Obispo and Ventura
counties, including a tract of land near Lake Casitas in the
Ojai Valley, a source of drinking water for Carpinteria Valley
Water District. Many of the report’s recommendations will
require additional action before taking effect, such as changes
to agency rules or regulations, or passage of legislation.
The metric identifies the amount of carbon dioxide per
acre-foot of water transported by the State Water Project.
Water districts receiving water from the SWP can use this
metric to understand the emissions of their water supply
chains, and customers can better understand the ‘carbon
intensity’ of the water they purchase.
Anticipating where a fire is likely to ignite and how it might
spread requires information about how much burnable plant
material exists on the landscape and its dryness. Yet this
information is surprisingly difficult to gather at the scale
and speed necessary to aid wildfire management. Now, a team of
experts in hydrology, remote sensing and environmental
engineering have developed a deep-learning model that maps fuel
moisture levels in fine detail across 12 western states
Northstate lawmakers and local leaders gathered in Paradise,
Tuesday, urging Governor Gavin Newsom to reconsider proposed
state budget cuts that would impact the Paradise Irrigation
District. … Earlier this month, Newsom proposed cutting the
second year of backfill funding to the district meant to help
them stay afloat after the Camp Fire decimated the ridge’s
This winter’s decent snowfall has turned into an abysmal runoff
on the Colorado River, thanks to the dry soils heading into the
winter, along with a warm spring. … Our bigger concern is
what happens next year. Are we headed for a multi-year drought?
No one can say yet whether the intense rainfall that preceded
this disaster [in central Michigan] was made worse by climate
change. But global warming is already causing some regions to
become wetter, and increasing the frequency of extreme storms,
according to the latest National Climate Assessment. … That
puts more of the nation’s 91,500 dams at risk of failing,
engineers and dam safety experts said.
A marshy tract known as Sherman Island is one of the most
sensitive and geographically important locations for water
conveyance in California. On May 11, DWR began a restoration
project on the southeast side of the island that combats
climate change while protecting statewide water supply.
Cornell engineers have used advanced modeling to simulate more
than 1 million potential futures – a technique known as
scenario discovery – to assess how stakeholders who rely on the
Colorado River might be uniquely affected by changes in climate
and demand as a result of management practices and other
The Agribusiness and Water Council of Arizona likes to say it
represents Arizona agriculture “from ditch bank to dinner
plate” indicative of the fact that its members range from
farmers and ranchers to irrigation groups and trade
associations — all of them concerned about water flow along
the 1,450-mile-long Colorado River.
On this edition of Your Call’s One Planet Series, we’re
discussing a new study from Columbia University about an
emerging climate-driven megadrought in the Western US.
Researchers used hydrological modeling and tree-ring
reconstructions of summer soil moisture to show that the period
from 2000 to 2018 was the driest 19-year span since the late
The authors provide an overview of how water supports Earth’s
resilience and propose an approach for analyzing and better
understanding global water cycle modifications focused on three
central questions: What water-related changes could lead to
global tipping points? How and where is the water cycle
particularly vulnerable? And how do local changes in water
stores and fluxes affect regional and global processes and vice
The Poseidon desalination plant proposed for Huntington Beach
could be facing rough waters ahead, as several regulatory
officials on Friday expressed concerns over the controversial
plan.. During a Regional Water Quality Control Board workshop
held online, three of the agency’s six board members
persistently pressed local officials about the need, consumer
cost and environmental harm of the $1 billion project.
Sprawled across a desert expanse along the Utah-Arizona border,
Lake Powell’s nearly 100-foot high bathtub ring etched on its
sandstone walls belie the challenges of a major Colorado River
reservoir at less than half-full. How those challenges play out
as demand grows for the river’s water amid a changing climate
is fueling simmering questions about Powell’s future.
A new study led by Adam Schreiner-McGraw, a postdoctoral
hydrology researcher at University of California, Riverside,
modeled shrub encroachment on a sloping landscape and reached a
startling conclusion: Shrub encroachment on slopes can increase
the amount of water that goes into groundwater storage. The
effect of shrubs is so powerful that it even counterbalances
the lower annual rainfall amounts expected during climate
Sprawled across a desert expanse
along the Utah-Arizona border, Lake Powell’s nearly 100-foot high
bathtub ring etched on its sandstone walls belie the challenges
of a major Colorado River reservoir at less than half-full. How
those challenges play out as demand grows for the river’s water
amid a changing climate is fueling simmering questions about
Gov. Gavin Newsom used his daily coronavirus briefing Thursday
to outline an austerity budget with deep cuts to cover a
massive $54.3 billion deficit. Newsom’s proposal includes major
cuts to environmental programs, including a $681 million slash
in spending for environmental protection compared to last year,
and a $224 million cut to the state’s natural resources
In March, the California Department of Water Resources released
a nearly completed draft report on the risk of water shortage
in rural areas and the drought vulnerability of small systems.
… Across the state, Monterey County is among the most
vulnerable counties, with one of the largest numbers of highly
impacted rural communities, according to the report. Also, the
county’s small water systems are on average the 13th most
vulnerable out of those of 58 counties.
As of Monday, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric
Administration’s forecast for this year’s expected water
supplies in the Colorado River is at 59% of average. That’s not
good news. If that prediction proves true, this will be one of
the driest water years since Lake Powell was constructed nearly
60 years ago.
A new study published in Nature Climate Change indicates that
about 50 percent of current runoff comes directly from Sierra
snowmelt, and the Valley stands to lose between 13 percent and
50 percent of snowmelt runoff as the climate warms.
There is a better, more equitable pathway for reducing the
deficit without forcing arbitrary cuts. It involves 3 million
acres of irrigated agriculture, mostly alfalfa and forage
crops, which consume more than 80% of total water use in the
basin. By retiring less than 10% of this irrigated acreage from
production, we could eliminate the existing million acre-foot
overdraft on the Colorado River..
What we in Los Angeles should want from the Met is a continuing
flow of clean water from the faucet — but this time with
planning and infrastructure that reduce reliance on diminishing
imports, minimize damage to our fellow Californians in the
delta and elsewhere, and sustain iconic species like migrating
Nevadans and Utahns won a major economic and environmental
victory in mid-April that will help protect air quality along
the Wasatch Front and the Great Basin’s fragile water supply ––
including Great Salt Lake.
New research shows that carbon capture and storage (CCS) could
stress water resources in about 43% of the world’s power plants
where water scarcity is already a problem. Further, the
technology deployed in these water-scarce regions matters, and
emerging CCS technologies could greatly mitigate the demand CCS
places on water consumption.
Since 2000, the West has been stricken by a dry spell so severe
that it ranks among the biggest “megadroughts” of the past
1,200 years. But scientists have found that unlike the
decades-long droughts of centuries ago, this one has been
supercharged by humanity’s heating of the planet.
There are 29 federally recognized tribes across the Colorado
River Basin. Together, these tribes have water rights to
roughly 20% of the water that flows through the river annually.
In Arizona, the Colorado River Indian Tribes (CRIT) and the
Gila River Indian Community (GRIC) were critical partners in
making the Drought Contingency Plan possible.
The California Environmental Quality Act scoping period
concluded on April 17, 2020 after an extended 93-day public
comment period. DWR is reviewing all submitted comments and
will publish a scoping report summarizing the information this
On a recent sunny, windy March day – just before COVID-19 sent
the [San Francisco] Bay Area into lockdown – Dave Halsing stood
on the trails at Eden Landing Ecological Reserve and
pointed out what used to be old industrial salt ponds. He noted
how they’re gradually being restored into a rich mosaic of
tidal wetlands and other ecosystems in the South Bay Salt Pond
Dr. Laurel Larsen, an expert in hydroecology, landscape
dynamics, complex environmental systems, and environmental
restoration, was unanimously appointed by the Delta Stewardship
Council on Thursday as lead scientist. Most recently, Dr.
Larsen has served as an associate professor in the Department
of Geography and Civil and Environmental Engineering at the UC
With swelling seas now posing a greater threat to California’s
economy than wildfires or severe earthquakes, authorities want
those who live along some of the state’s famous shores to do
what they’re loath to do: retreat.
It’s the early 1990s, and Park Williams stands in the middle of
Folsom Lake, at the base of the Sierra Nevada foothills in
Northern California. He’s not walking on water; severe drought
has exposed the lakebed. “I remember being very impressed by
the incredible variability of water in the West and how it’s
very rare that we actually have just enough water,” said
Williams, who went on to become a climate scientist at Columbia
Fairness – or at least the perception of fairness – could play
a determining role in the future of California’s groundwater,
according to new research. The study, published in Society and
Natural Resources, evaluated 137 surveys of Yolo County farmers
to gauge their perceptions of fairness for groundwater
allocation strategies and dispute resolution options.
For the past decade, Kane County leaders have argued their
southern Utah community will need water piped from the Colorado
River to meet future needs, but the local water district
abruptly announced Thursday it was pulling out of the costly
Lake Powell pipeline project, leaving Washington County as the
only remaining recipient of the water.
To develop the rankings, the state took into account numerous
factors, including each water system’s vulnerability to climate
change and projected temperature changes, projected sea level
rise, recent water shortages, whether the system is in an
overdrafted groundwater basin or was located in an area with
underlying fractured rock.
In January, water users in 21 critically overdrafted basins
delivered their groundwater sustainability plans to the state
Department of Water Resources. In this series, we examine the
36 plans submitted for 11 critically overdrafted basins in the
San Joaquin Valley—California’s largest farming region, where
excess pumping is a major challenge.
Under the drought contingency plan hammered out by Colorado
River Basin states last year, Arizona agreed to voluntarily
reduce its water use by 192,000 acre-feet, or about 7%, leaving
that water in Lake Mead to help reduce the likelihood of
greater cutbacks down the road. Tom Buschatzke, director of the
Arizona Department of Water Resources, says data from a new
Bureau of Reclamation report show that plan is working.
The findings pinpointed basins globally most at risk of not
having enough water available at the right times for irrigation
because of changes in snowmelt patterns. Two of those high-risk
areas are the San Joaquin and Colorado river basins in the
western United States.
The western United States and northern parts of Mexico could
experience a record-breaking megadrought, according to the
Earth Institute at Columbia University. “A new study says the
time has arrived: a megadrought as bad or worse than anything
even from known prehistory is very likely in progress, and
warming climate is playing a key role,” the Earth Institute
From the safety of their coronavirus shelters, the water
warriors of the Monterey Peninsula carry on the fight, and so
can you. … The environmental merits of removing the local
water system from private ownership and placing it under the
control of a government agency will be discussed in a virtual
public scoping meeting on April 21 at 5pm, via Zoom video
On March 13, 2020, water users in the Klamath Reclamation
Project (Project) petitioned the United States Supreme Court to
review the Federal Circuit Court of Appeals’ decision in Baley,
et al. v. United States, et al. (Baley). The decision denied
the water users’ takings claims for the 2001 Project water
shutoff on water law grounds.
The world’s seas are simmering, with record high temperatures
spurring worry among forecasters that the global warming effect
may generate a chaotic year of extreme weather ahead. …
Worldwide, sea temperatures were 1.49 degrees Fahrenheit above
average in March. That’s the second highest level recorded
since 1880 for the month of March, according to U.S. data.
Voluntary agreements in California have been touted as an
innovative and flexible way to improve environmental conditions
in the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta and the rivers that feed
it. … Yet, no one said it would be easy getting interest
groups with sometimes sharply different views – and some, such
as farmers, with livelihoods heavily dependent on water — to
reach consensus on how to address the water quality and habitat
needs of the Delta watershed.
For the last four years, our team at UC Davis has been
conducting scientific studies on reintroduced spring-run
Chinook salmon in the San Joaquin River and we wanted to take a
minute to share some of what we’ve learned. Plus, everyone
loves a good comeback story right?
The U.S. Bureau of Reclamation released projections for the
Colorado River’s water supply for the next two years. … Lake
Mead is projected to fall into “Tier Zero” conditions for 2021
and 2022. That’s a new designation under the Drought
Contingency Plan which requires Arizona, Nevada and Mexico take
cuts in their water supply.
As is appropriate for the state that is home to Hollywood, the
“climate monsters” that bedevil California have names that
sound like they came from B-movies — the Blob, Godzilla El
Niño, Megadrought. One monster in particular, Drought, has more
than overstayed its welcome, according to a new study in the
The flagship of DWR’s Environmental Monitoring Program (EMP),
the Sentinel is used as a floating laboratory that monitors
water quality and ecosystem biology in the Sacramento-San
Joaquin Delta and San Francisco Estuaries.
Officially, California’s most recent drought lasted five
painful years and ended in 2017. But a new study released
Thursday says California and the rest of the West are enduring
a continuing megadrought that ranks among the worst on record.
Since this year marked the first since 1862 that not a single
drop of rain fell in Santa Cruz County during the month of
February, efforts to sustainably manage water were at the
forefront of the conversation. The symposium kicked off with an
introduction from County Supervisor Bruce McPherson, who
discussed the ongoing work to develop sustainable groundwater
A new study in Nature Scientific Reports says the possibility
of extreme flooding along U.S. Coastlines is going to double
every five years, and that dangerously high water levels we now
expect to see every 50 years will become: Annual occurrences by
2050; Daily occurrences by 2100.
Chris Funk, climate scientist, and geographer Greg Husak at the
UC Santa Barbara Climate Hazards Center, practice what they
call “humanitarian earth system science.” Working with partners
funded by the U.S. Agency for International Development, they
have refined their forecasts over 20 years from basic weather
monitoring to a sophisticated fusion of climate science,
agronomy, and economics that can warn of drought and subsequent
famines months before they arise.
California has evacuation plans for earthquakes, floods,
mudslides and, of course, wildfires, but what if one of those
disasters occurs as the state is dealing with the coronavirus
outbreak when everyone is being urged to stay home? State and
local officials are trying to figure that out.
Led by the San Francisco Bay Conservation and Development
Commission, the report takes study findings from throughout the
region to demonstrate the shared impacts of sea level rise
ranging from 12 to 108 inches on housing, transportation
networks, critical environmental habitat, jobs and
This report, “Scaling Corporate Water Stewardship to Address
Water Challenges in the Colorado River Basin,” examines a set
of key corporate water stewardship actions and activities, with
associated drivers and barriers, to identify how the private
sector could help tackle Colorado River water challenges.
Stormwater is the rain and other water that runs off of streets
and sidewalks into nearby gutters or waterways. Communities
throughout the western U.S. are expanding efforts to collect
this valuable water resource. These projects range from
capturing water from a single rooftop or driveway to developing
large infiltration basins that recharge billions of gallons of
water each year in groundwater basins.
An analysis led by Stanford University found that temperatures
rose about 1.8 degrees Fahrenheit statewide while precipitation
dropped 30% since 1980. That doubled the number of autumn
days—when fire risk is highest—with extreme conditions for the
ignition of wildfires.
An empty lot on a 70-foot-high bluff above the ocean seemed
like the perfect place to build a house when the owners bought
the parcel for $1.8 million. Now a state ruling means they’ll
have to put the house farther away from the water, where they
won’t see the shore. It’s a result of climate change and
California’s response to it.
In California, a changing climate has made autumn feel more
like summer, with hotter, drier weather that increases the risk
of longer, more dangerous wildfire seasons, according to a new
The Wildlife Conservation Board has approved approximately
$24.3 million in grants to help enhance flows in streams
throughout California. … The approved projects will lead to a
direct and measurable enhancement of the amount, timing and/or
quality of water in streams for anadromous fish or special
status, threatened, endangered or at-risk species, or to
provide resilience to climate change.
NASA researchers have developed new satellite-based, weekly
global maps of soil moisture and groundwater wetness conditions
and one to three-month U.S. forecasts of each product. While
maps of current dry/wet conditions for the United States have
been available since 2012, this is the first time they have
been available globally.
A 48-inch increase in the bay’s water level in coming decades
could cause more than 100,000 Bay Area jobs to be relocated.
Nearly 30,000 lower-income residents might be displaced, and
68,000 acres of ecologically valuable shoreline habitat could
be lost. These are among the findings in the most detailed
study yet on how sea level rise could alter the Bay Area.
As the climate changes, forests have figured out a way to adapt
to drought, a new study shows. … The results indicate that
tree communities, particularly in more arid regions, have
become more drought tolerant, primarily through the death of
less hardy trees.
We’ve all seen photos of clear-cut forests with swathes of
razed trees or deep scars in the ground from an open-pit mine.
The damage to the species that live in these habitats isn’t
hard to imagine. But the damage we’ve done to freshwater
ecosystems isn’t so visible. In rivers or lakes, trouble often
lurks out of view beneath the surface of the water …
State regulators are giving mixed responses to the EPA’s
relaxed enforcement on a range of environmental obligations by
facilities affected by the coronavirus pandemic. The
Environmental Protection Agency said this week it wouldn’t seek
penalties for violations covered by the emergency policy. …
The California Environmental Protection Agency said its
enforcement authority “remains intact” in spite of the EPA
During a week full of COVID-19-related uncertainty, a pair of
new lawsuits are a reminder of one constant: disputes over
Klamath Basin water. This past week, PacifiCorp and Klamath
Water Users Association each filed petitions for review of
Total Maximum Daily Loads (TMDLs) for temperature in the Upper
Klamath and Lost River subbasins.
This year marks a significant milestone for the Interagency
Ecological Program (IEP) – now nine state and federal agencies
that first joined forces 50 years ago for cooperative
ecological monitoring and coordination in the Sacramento-San
Joaquin Delta and San Francisco Bay Estuary. As the IEP Lead
Scientist, I have been reflecting on who we are, how we’ve
evolved, and what we need to do to ensure we’re still working
collaboratively for another 50 years.
Just three years after the 2011–2017 drought, one of the
severest in recorded history for the state, the driest February
in 150 years has spurred discussion of whether we’re in another
drought — or if the last one even ended. That’s bad news for
Los Angeles’ only newt, California newt, Taricha torosa, and
other newts in the Taricha genus, particularly in the southern
half of the state south of Big Sur.
CAL FIRE last week awarded $43.5 million to local organizations
to reduce the risk of wildfires to homes and communities across
California. Fifty-five local fire prevention projects are
receiving funding for hazardous fuel reductions, wildfire
preparedness planning and fire prevention education.
For decades, the discussion over flood mitigation in Petaluma
has almost exclusively centered around storm surges and heavy
rainfall events. Now, months after the city made its landmark
climate emergency proclamation, attention is shifting to focus
more on sea level rise and scientific projections that offer a
glimpse into what could be a sodden future.
Researchers with the University of Nevada, Reno, have been
working to evaluate and commercialize crops that use less
water. Professor John Cushman and his team think they’ve found
an alternative. It’s called teff.
There is now plenty of evidence that as the atmosphere warms,
the planet is experiencing more wildfires. … Understandably,
much of the media surrounding these incidents focuses on the
immediate damage to forests, homes, people and wildlife, but
one potentially dangerous long-term impact has received less
attention – the effect of fires on water.
Stanford’s Newsha Ajami spoke with Sonia Tagare, host of
theCUBE, SiliconANGLE Media’s mobile livestreaming studio,
during the Women in Data Science conference in Stanford,
California. They discussed how Ajami is working to bridge the
gap between science and policy in water management, building
solutions for water resilient cities, and changing the
traditional top-down water management model to a more
collaborative bottom-up approach.
While the first draft of the governor’s draft Water Resilience
Portfolio wasn’t the transformational vision many had hoped it
would be, there is still time to deliver on a plan that will
help us rise to the challenges ahead.
If corporations can have the rights of people under the law,
why not rivers? The question made sense to Will Falk, and he
answered it yes. Falk is a lawyer, and he got to represent the
Colorado River in a lawsuit. So he spent time along the river,
in something of a conversation with it. Falk tells the story in
his book How Dams Fall.
Given the wide swings in the availability of State Water
Project water from year to year as well as the possibility of
even more severe and lasting droughts, the San Bernardino
Valley Municipal Water District hired The Rand Corporation to
independently analyze the long-term demand forecasts of local
Burgeoning populations of anchovy and a healthy crop of
California sea lion pups reflected improved productivity off
parts of the West Coast in 2019. However, lingering offshore
heat worked against recovery of salmon stocks and reduced
fishing success, a new analysis reports.
Spurred by a recent change in federal flood zone maps and a
desire to prepare for rising seas, Foster City is in the
process of raising its levees by 1 to 7 feet. Residents voted
in 2018 to tax themselves in order to pay for the estimated $90
million upgrade. When the project breaks ground later this
year, the city of 35,000 people will vault to the forefront of
urban adaptation in the Bay Area to rising waters.
Stanford researchers have developed a machine learning model
that detects unexpected water-use consumption patterns – data
water utilities can use to inform resource planning and water
The House Natural Resources Committee voted along party lines
Wednesday to approve bills offered by California Democrats to
reauthorize grant programs to provide reliable water supplies
through reuse and desalination projects. Committee Chairman
Raul Grijalva (D-Ariz.) said he supported the water bills
because Western states have been hit hard by drought conditions
worsened by climate change.
Forecasting snowfall and determining long-term trends of snow
climatology are inherently challenging, but the research team
at Climate Central has produced an analysis of snowfall trends
across the United States. While no single overall national
trend in snowfall can be discerned from the results, clear
regional and seasonal patterns do emerge. In almost all areas
of the country, snow is decreasing in the “shoulder”
seasons—fall and spring.
The federal government is giving local officials nationwide a
painful choice: Agree to use eminent domain to force people out
of flood-prone homes, or forfeit a shot at federal money they
need to combat climate change.
The latest research about the Colorado River is alarming but
also predictable: In a warming world, snowmelt has been
decreasing while evaporation of reservoirs is increasing. Yet
no politician has a plan to save the diminishing Colorado
San Joaquin Valley farmers say they hope a newly released
report will capture the attention of Californians about the
potential impact of water shortages in the region. The report,
released last week, said water shortages could cause 1 million
acres of San Joaquin Valley farmland to be fallowed and cost as
many as 85,000 jobs.
The scramble for water has intensified as global warming has
battered much of the West during the last 20 years with heat
waves, droughts and wildfires. With projections for declining
snowpack and river flows, cloud seeding is becoming a regional
climate adaptation measure costing several million dollars each
The South Bay Salt Pond Restoration Project is the largest
tidal wetland restoration project on the West Coast. When
complete, the Project will restore 15,100 acres of industrial
salt ponds to a rich mosaic of tidal wetlands and other
habitats. The Project is intended to restore and enhance
wetlands in South San Francisco Bay while providing for flood
management, wildlife-oriented public access, and recreation.
An important new study finds that irrigated crop production
accounts for 86 percent of all water consumed in the western US
— and of all the water used on western farms, by far the
largest portion goes to cattle-feed crops such as alfalfa and
grass hay. To alleviate the severe shortage of water in the
region, study authors suggest rotational fallowing farmland
could be a simple and affordable means of dramatically reducing
water use in the region.
If you followed the news about the Colorado River for the last
year, you’d think that a political avalanche had swept down
from Colorado’s snow-capped peaks and covered the Southwest
with a blanket of “collaboration” and “river protection.” I
won’t call it fake news, but I will point out errors of
As sea levels rise, so do the waters in the bay, which connects
to the Pacific Ocean through the Golden Gate. That relationship
between rising ocean levels and rising bay levels is well
known. What is less obvious is that groundwater levels are
rising as well, adding another variable to the region’s
equation of increasing flood risk.
The pit was a bustling iron mine once, churning out ore that
was shipped by rail to a nearby Kaiser Steel plant. When steel
manufacturing declined, Los Angeles County tried to turn the
abandoned mine into a massive landfill. Conservationists hope
the area will someday become part of Joshua Tree National Park,
which surrounds it on three sides. Steve Lowe has a radically
Fresh water shortages have made desalination a possible
solution for supplementing the overall water supply. To address
this issue, a team of industry professionals and researchers
have formed National Alliance of Water and Innovation to
jointly examine the critical technical barriers and research
needed to lower the energy cost of desalination and other water
A warming planet has major ramifications on winter snowpack
across the globe, including a long-term drying trend for many.
That’s a concern for winter sports enthusiasts and communities
that depend on snow throughout the year.
A major contributor to the Southern California water supply is
the Colorado River, which pumps in about 26 percent of the
region’s water supply via the Colorado Aqueduct, which was
built in the 1930s. … There’s a problem, and it’s happening
at the source. Years of multiple water allocations and
persistent drought have put the Colorado River under stress.
An official at the Interior Department embarked on a campaign
that has inserted misleading language about climate change —
including debunked claims that increased carbon dioxide in the
atmosphere is beneficial — into the agency’s scientific
reports, according to documents reviewed by The New York Times.
… The misleading language appears in environmental studies
and impact statements affecting major watersheds including the
Klamath and Upper Deschutes river basins in California and
A major contributor to the Southern California water supply is
the Colorado River, which pumps in about 26 percent of the
region’s water supply via the Colorado Aqueduct, which was
built in the 1930s. … There’s a problem, and it’s happening
at the source. Years of multiple water allocations and
persistent drought have put the Colorado River under stress.
As the real globe warms, one trend is clear: Winter is
shrinking and snow is melting. In the past 50 years, the frozen
mantle that caps the Northern Hemisphere in the dark months has
lost a million square miles of spring snowpack. Winter warming
has tripled in the U.S. West since 1970; the length of winter
is projected to decline at ski areas across the country, in
some locations by more than 50% by 2050 and by 80% by 2090.
The Central Valley is America’s fruit bowl, and the heart of
California’s $50bn agriculture industry. But the 2011-2017
drought raised serious questions about the future of that
industry and forced the state to grapple with regulating the
one thing fueling much of it: groundwater.
The islands of the western Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta are
sinking as the rich peat soil that attracted generations of
farmers dries out and decays. As the peat decomposes, it
releases tons of carbon dioxide – a greenhouse gas – into the
atmosphere. … An ambitious plan now in the works could halt
the decay, sequester the carbon and potentially reverse the
Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Andrew
Wheeler appeared before lawmakers Thursday to defend a budget
that would bring the agency to its lowest funding level in
years. As with previous Trump administration budgets, lawmakers
are expected to ignore the proposed 26 percent cut to the
agency, one of the steepest in the budget.
Two bills that would make it easier for state regulators and
county officials to limit well-drilling and groundwater pumping
have died in the Arizona Legislature despite support from
lawmakers and pleas from county officials who are asking for
help to protect their rapidly declining aquifers.
The islands of the western
Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta are sinking as the rich peat soil
that attracted generations of farmers dries out and decays. As
the peat decomposes, it releases tons of carbon dioxide – a
greenhouse gas – into the atmosphere. As the islands sink, the
levees that protect them are at increasing risk of failure, which
could imperil California’s vital water conveyance system.
An ambitious plan now in the works could halt the decay,
sequester the carbon and potentially reverse the sinking.
Scientists say climate change will bring more unpredictable
weather, warmer winters and less snowpack in the mountains.
These challenges and some ideas for remedies are outlined in a
new plan, called the California Water Resilience Portfolio,
released by Gov. Gavin Newsom in January to a mix of praise and
disappointment. Below, an explanation of the state’s water
development — as well as the challenges, today and tomorrow, of
providing water for California’s people, places and things.
Drought has expanded to nearly a quarter of the state, mainly
in central California, the heart of the state’s agricultural
sector, according to a U.S. Drought Monitor map made public
Thursday. The map shows 70 percent of the state is abnormally
At a time when Del Mar, Pacifica and other coastal cities are
fighting to defend their homes and roads from the rising sea,
Marina has embarked on a path less traveled. Here in this Army
turned university town, residents are learning how to adjust
with the ocean as the water moves inland.
The San Francisco Bay Conservation and Development Commission
has created an online mapping tool known as the Bay Shoreline
Flood Explorer that allows you to see the impacts of rising
oceans if precautions aren’t taken. You can see how much of the
shoreline is inundated at 12 to 144 inches of rise, as well as
the impacts of storm surges and exceptionally high tides that
can temporarily cause water levels to rise.
Climate change has dramatically decreased natural flow in the
Colorado River, jeopardizing the water supply for some 40
million people and millions of acres of farmland, according to
new research from the USGS. The decline is expected to continue
unless changes are made to alleviate global warming and the
impacts of drier, hotter temperatures.
California’s coast is truly a treasure for residents and
visitors alike. Sadly, rising seas are washing away our beach,
and for every inch of sand lost, our opportunities for joy —
and our economic future — similarly shrink.
Seawater intrusion in the Salinas Valley continues to seep into
the deeper aquifers, according to the latest Monterey County
Water Resources Agency data, even as the overall rate of
seawater intrusion continues slowing down.
The Colorado River’s average annual flow has declined by nearly
20 percent compared to the last century, and researchers have
identified one of the main culprits: climate change is causing
mountain snowpack to disappear, leading to increased
Winters are warming faster than other seasons across much of
the United States. While that may sound like a welcome change
for those bundled in scarves and hats, it’s causing a cascade
of unpredictable impacts in communities across the country.
By 2030, the projected sea level combined with a particularly
nasty storm event could flood nearly everything west of Highway
1 in Stinson Beach: 590 parcels, 430 buildings and several
miles of road. By the middle of the century, every high tide
will bring flooding, and the roadways will likely need to be
altered to maintain access to the low-lying town.
The Colusa Groundwater Authority, the California Department of
Water Resources and The Nature Conservancy have partnered to
conduct an on-farm, multi-benefit demonstration program for
growers in two select project locations around Colusa County.
The town of Fairfield is moving forward with a project to
better protect its wastewater treatment plant from large storms
and sea level rise. According to a press release from First
Selectwoman Brenda Kupchick, the project will cost a total of
$7.4 million but $3.33 million will be funded through a grant
from the United States Department of Housing and Urban
Developments’ (US HUD) Community Development Block Grant -
Gov. Gavin Newsom, in a pre-emptive strike against President
Donald Trump, said Wednesday he plans to sue Trump’s
administration to block a controversial plan to increase water
deliveries to the San Joaquin Valley. Newsom’s office said he
“will file legal action in the coming days … to protect
highly imperiled fish species close to extinction.”
Extracting salt from water seems like an easy fix to a global
problem, but the process of desalination can be expensive, and
it can also have a huge impact on the environment. That’s why
some researchers are looking into how to lower the cost and
Marking a historic moment for the city of Oceanside and the
region, city officials and water industry leaders will break
ground on Pure Water Oceanside on Wednesday, Feb. 19 at 10 a.m.
at the San Luis Rey Water Reclamation Facility. Scheduled to be
completed before the end of 2021, Pure Water Oceanside will be
on the map as the first operating recycled water project in San
Water supply concerns, regulations, labor issues, tariffs,
climate change, and other challenges have prompted some rather
dire predictions about the future of California agriculture. We
talked to Dan Sumner—director of the UC Davis Agricultural
Issues Center and a member of the PPIC Water Policy Center
research network—about his research on California agriculture
David joins me today to discuss the water economy and where we
are right now as a civilization. He shares why we should be in
a global state of panic and why we’re no longer in a world
where water is sustainable. He explains the need for water to
be priced and how it can positively affect the ag industry.
David also discusses water rights, “free water,” the water
market, and possible solutions to water scarcity.
While the Arizona Legislature considers how to respond to
problems of falling groundwater levels in rural areas, the
agriculture industry is pushing back against proposals that
would require owners of large wells across the state to measure
and report how much water they’re pumping.
Local reservoirs and municipal water supplies might become so
polluted from the fires that the current water supply
infrastructure will be challenged or could no longer treat the
water. … But most of the fire-prone areas in North America
lack large-scale vulnerability assessments of their municipal
Two sprawling metropolitan areas offer a glimpse of the future.
One rich, one poor, they sit on opposite sides of the Pacific
Ocean: the San Francisco Bay Area (population 7 million) and
metropolitan Manila (almost 14 million). Their history, their
wealth, and the political and personal choices they make today
will shape how they fare as the water inevitably comes to their
Days after the Environmental Protection Agency’s top official
in California was abruptly removed, the agency announced
Tuesday that it would replace him with John W. Busterud, a
former lawyer for Pacific Gas & Electric Co., the state’s
largest electric power provider.
California’s alarmingly dry winter continues, with no
meaningful snow or rain in sight. Although it’s far too soon to
predict a drought, experts said wildfire risks could worsen
this summer as a result of the shortage of precipitation.
Wildfire poses layers of risk to drinking water that unspool
over time and geography, with some effects emerging years
later, sometimes outside the burn zone… Water utility
managers, engineers and scientists have only recently begun to
grapple with the aftereffects of fires that consume entire
neighborhoods and towns—as they did in California—and that in
the process, release dozens of manmade pollutants into water
A report recently published by the Lawrence Livermore National
Lab, Getting to Neutral, suggests that power plants across the
state could profitably convert wood from forests and orchards
into liquid or hydrogen fuels, all while capturing their
Wildfires can have many detrimental impacts on water supplies.
The effects can last for multiple decades and include drinking
water pollution, reservoir sedimentation, flash floods and
reduced recreational benefits from rivers. These impacts
represent a growing hazard as populations expand, and
communities encroach onto forest landscapes.
The fate of Foster City and the rest of the Bay Area was front
and center last week as state lawmakers grappled with the many
threats California must confront as the ocean pushes farther
inland. A special committee of state lawmakers gathered — for
the second time in two months after years without meeting — to
reignite a much-needed discussion on how to better prepare
communities up and down the coast…
To adequately prepare for the impacts of sea level rise,
regional collaboration must be enhanced and a considerable
investment by the state is needed and soon, according to the
experts and officials who spoke at a hearing on sea level rise
Friday in Foster City.
Climate change is spurring a new, deep dive into a complex,
little-studied weather system blamed for creating billions of
dollars in flood damage across the western U.S. Atmospheric
rivers are narrow ribbons of concentrated moisture that
originate in the Pacific and can flow thousands of miles before
dropping rain and snow on land.
The group called Water Audit California has used lawsuits to
pry water releases from local reservoirs for fish and has
threatened a groundwater-related lawsuit against Napa County.
The group last week co-sponsored a forum to suggest another
A warming climate has been linked to human activity around the
world, and has affected the Colorado River System as well. The
impacts are substantial, from reduced water flows, threats to
indigenous species and the influx of new invasive species along
the river system.
When the now-historic finger piers along San Francisco’s
Embarcadero were built, you can bet the builders never expected
that a century later, there would be engineering studies on how
to prepare the gaunt sheds for seas that could rise nearly 7
The Environmental Protection Agency’s top official in
California was abruptly removed from office Wednesday. No
reason has yet been given for Mike Stoker’s dismissal. …
Stoker’s tenure was mired in controversy. In 2018, a few months
after he was appointed regional administrator, a “hotline”
complaint was filed with the EPA’s inspector general regarding
his infrequent visits to the region’s main office, in San
One of the top priorities outlined in the Newsom
Administration’s recently released draft Water Resilience
Portfolio is reducing reliance on any one water source and
diversifying supplies – key strategies for making our water
supply systems more flexible, adaptable, and resilient to the
impacts of climate change.
Jan. 31 marked a major milestone for building groundwater
sustainability and climate resilience into California’s complex
and increasingly stressed water systems. It was the first major
planning deadline for implementing the state’s historic
Sustainable Groundwater Management Act.
California is stuck in a dry spell amid what is historically
the wettest time of the year. But while the Sierra snowpack is
dwindling and rainfall totals are below normal, weather
watchers are not concerned about a drought. “One dry year
doesn’t make a drought,” said Chris Orrock, a spokesperson for
the California Department of Water Resources.
Shortly after taking office in 2019,
Gov. Gavin Newsom called on state agencies to deliver a Water
Resilience Portfolio to meet California’s urgent challenges —
unsafe drinking water, flood and drought risks from a changing
climate, severely depleted groundwater aquifers and native fish
populations threatened with extinction.
Within days, he appointed Nancy Vogel, a former journalist and
veteran water communicator, as director of the Governor’s Water
Portfolio Program to help shepherd the monumental task of
compiling all the information necessary for the portfolio. The
three state agencies tasked with preparing the document delivered
the draft Water Resilience Portfolio Jan. 3. The document, which
Vogel said will help guide policy and investment decisions
related to water resilience, is nearing the end of its comment
period, which goes through Friday, Feb. 7.
Researchers at Virginia Institute of Marine Science issued
their annual report card which looked at tide-gauge records for
32 coastal locations, stretching from Maine to Alaska. … The
Bay Area was home to two of those stations: one in Alameda and
one in San Francisco, which both recorded a year-over-year
From an ecologist’s perspective, river habitat and species
population sizes and life histories were shaped by unimpaired
flow patterns (including volume and natural variability) across
seasons and years. Science from across the world, other regions
in the US, and right here in California suggests that we can
take some of that flow for other uses, but must preserve
adequate volume and natural patterns of variation if we want
native species to survive.
“A lot of cities not at risk of sea of level rise will
experience the effect of it,” says Bistra Dilkina, a computer
scientist at the University of Southern California, who led the
study. “This will require an adjustment in terms of the
[increased] demand on the cities’ infrastructure.”
The Four Corners drought of 2017 and 2018 caused $3 billion in
losses and prompted the Navajo Nation to issue an emergency
drought declaration. Now, new research in the Bulletin of the
American Meteorological Society suggests a sizable portion of
the drought’s impacts stemmed from human-caused climate change.
Vast amounts of valuable energy, agricultural nutrients, and
water could potentially be recovered from the world’s
fast-rising volume of municipal wastewater, according to a new
study by UN University’s Canadian-based Institute for Water,
Environment and Health.
The Air Force research crew on the WC-130J Super Hercules
airplane was cruising at 28,000 feet over the Pacific Ocean,
preparing to deploy 25 weather-sensing devices over a long band
of water vapor known as an “atmospheric river” when the hazards
of air travel got in the way of science.
Assemblyman Rob Bonta is proposing a far-reaching California
Green New Deal to address climate change while prioritizing
historically marginalized groups… The bill would extend the
rights of Californians to include things like access to clean
air and water; justice for institutional – including
environmental – racism; debt-free public education through
college, and affordable health care.
One of the major questions fish biologists are often asked is
“how much water do fish need?” In 2016, a group of scientists
from California Trout, UC Davis, UC Berkeley, The Nature
Conservancy, Utah State University and the Southern California
Coastal Water Research Project, with funding in partnership
from the State Water Board, began to delve into this question
Placer County, along with the U.S. Forest Service will continue
restoration efforts at the French Meadows reservoir, 30 miles
south of Soda Springs, with plans to treat over 3,800 acres of
forest this year. … This year they expect to remove 9 million
board feet of timber, three times the amount removed last year,
and 15,000 green tons of biomass that will be chipped, hauled
and used for energy production.
The situation in Australia illustrates a growing global
concern: Forests, grasslands and other areas that supply
drinking water to hundreds of millions of people are
increasingly vulnerable to fire due in large part to hotter,
drier weather that has extended fire seasons, and more people
moving into those areas, where they can accidentally set fires.
Kiara Nirghin, ’22, developed a unique polymer that can keep
crops hydrated during dry spells. The innovative research has
garnered her global recognition, including top honors at the
Google Science Fair.
On the heels of a seemingly perpetual drought that has slowed
surface water deliveries to a trickle and made water transfers
complicated and expensive, Joe Del Bosque and other growers
face new pumping restrictions under the Sustainable Groundwater
Management Act. … The farm’s water costs have already more
than doubled in the past 10 years…
People crowded into an Ojai junior high school auditorium
recently after thousands received legal notices or a court
summons from the city of Ventura. The city notified 14,000-plus
property owners in the Ventura River watershed of a potential
adjudication of water rights. That move came years after the
city faced legal action over its own water use.
The Santa Monica City Council approved a water self-sufficiency
plan Tuesday that will double the price of water and wastewater
removal by 2024. The rate increases will finance about $42
million in infrastructure projects that will allow Santa Monica
to stop importing water from the Metropolitan Water District of
Southern California by 2023.
The 53rd Weather Reconnaissance Squadron’s mission over the
coming months: C-130s — departing from the U.S. Coast Guard Air
Station Barbers Point in Hawaii; or from Travis Air Force Base
in Fairfield — will each release 25 sensors called dropsondes
into a forming atmospheric river system. As the dropsondes fall
from 25,000 feet along two V-shaped paths covering hundreds of
miles, they send back readings on the gathering storm’s water
vapor content, temperature, wind speed and direction.
Large lawns and backyard pools were once common features of new
homes in the Phoenix area, but not anymore. A recent study of
single-family homes in the Phoenix metropolitan area showed
that nearly two-thirds of homes do not have a swimming pool.
Wildfires are feasting on overgrown, overcrowded and
undermanaged forests, warmer temperatures have created longer
fire seasons and officials are trying to prevent another
environmental catastrophe. That was all just part of the
discussion Monday during Operation Sierra Storm, a national
weather conference sponsored by the Lake Tahoe Visitors
The concept of unimpaired flows has endured (much longer than
reasonable in my opinion). While it was argued that unimpaired
flows would allow resource assessments to be founded on the
“natural” hydrology of the stream network, this had fundamental
By analyzing more than two decades of data in the western U.S.,
scientists have shown that flood sizes increase exponentially
as a higher fraction of precipitation falls as rain, offering
insight into how flood risks may change in a warming world with
Since the 19th century, close to 90 percent of the marshland
that historically ringed San Francisco Bay has been lost to
development. The effects include diminished wildlife habitat,
increased flood risk, degraded water quality, and far fewer
opportunities for nature-based recreation. In 2016, more than
two-thirds of voters across nine counties supported ballot
Measure AA, a $12 per year parcel tax over 20 years to provide
$500 million in restoration funding to reverse some of those
As we enter a new decade, California faces increasing
environmental challenges caused by climate change, creating an
uncertain future for our water resources. … It is time for
California’s Department of Water Resources to implement water
policy for the state that shores up our precious waterways and
diversifies water supplies in the face of these imminent
The U.S.-Mexico border delineates the separation of two
countries, but that doesn’t mean the two sides are completely
isolated from each other. … It’s also why the United States
and Mexico coordinate on public health, and why experts say the
two nations should do more on climate change.
For many businesses in drought-ridden states like California,
water supply issues aren’t a problem for the future—they’re
happening right now. … For the Cloverdale-based Bear Republic
Brewing Company, the impact was especially devastating, due to
the city’s heavy reliance on the water supply of the Russian
Time and time again seemingly well-intentioned initiatives and
repeated attempts to develop a comprehensive water management
solution have failed, despite cautionary tales. However, 2019
witnessed the horizon of a new initiative called the Voluntary
Agreements that could do what few, if any, past plans, efforts,
or reports could do – unite water management and develop
The fast-melting ice in the Arctic may be the primary cause of
extreme weather across the globe, including some of the most
violent, damaging storms to hit the Bay Area and California, a
Scripps Institution of Oceanography study has found.
In an effort to aggressively combat the impacts of climate
change on low-lying areas of the Bay Area, the San Francisco
Regional Water Quality Control Board today proposed changes to
the region’s Water Quality Control Plan to better protect
shorelines from sea level rise, storm surges and flooding.
The 2018 Four Corners drought — centered on the junction
between Arizona, Utah, Colorado and New Mexico — put the region
deep in the red. An abnormally hot spring and summer indicated
that climate change was clearly at work, but that was about as
much as most people could say… Climate scientists from UC
Santa Barbara have now distilled just how strong an effect
human-induced warming had on that event.
For decades, California’s coastal aquifers have been plagued by
invading seawater, turning pristine wells into salty ruins. But
the state’s coastal water agencies now plan to get more
aggressive in holding back the invasion by injecting millions
of gallons of treated sewage and other purified wastewater deep
One of the biggest indicators of renewed geothermal interest
occurred Thursday when the Bureau of Land Management published
a final environmental impact statement on a California
geothermal leasing area that sat on the shelf for eight years.
The statement is for the proposed designation of a 22,805-acre
Haiwee Geothermal Leasing Area north of Ridgecrest, Calif., and
west of Death Valley National Park.
In wildland forest locations, they found that drought-ridden
and drier locales like Idaho and Colorado have longer stretches
of post-burn protection (about 20 years) because the woody
debris in those forests require extreme drought to carry fires
and the land lacks grassy fuels. Coastal California, however,
receives more moisture and grassy fuel grows quickly,
increasing the risk for reburn, seeing that negative feedback
disappear after about 10 years.
These networks of habitat and water that run under and across
our desert are essential to stop the loss of bird species
diversity. These linkages, flowing through our communities,
under our highways, bubbling up in the livestock allotments of
our public lands or pulsing within renewable energy development
zones, are not easily replaced. The loss and degradation of
these connected lands and waters are contributing to the
David Fahey, director of the Chemical Sciences Division of
NOAA’s Earth System Research Laboratory, told his staff
yesterday that the federal government is ready to examine the
science behind “geoengineering” — or what he dubbed a “Plan B”
for climate change. Fahey said he has received backing to
explore two approaches.
Last month, high tides in San Francisco Bay washed up onto the
shoreline of a large former pharmaceutical company in Richmond.
A few hours later, the outgoing tide pulled
contamination—including pesticides, toxic chemicals and
radioactive waste—off the industrial land and into the Bay.
Competing plans for “climate resiliency” bonds come from three
sides of state government: the Assembly, the Senate and Gov.
Gavin Newsom. … Resilience projects are aimed not so much at
preventing sea level rise, wildfires, droughts and extreme
heatwaves, but helping people and communities survive.
In step with President Trump’s push for more energy development
in California’s deserts, the U.S. Bureau of Land Management
announced Thursday it wants to transform 22,000 acres of public
land in the southern Owens Valley into one of the largest
geothermal leasing sites in the state.
The water portfolio lists over 100 actions and while many are
forward-thinking and do things like improve drinking water
quality, boost efficiency in urban and agricultural water use
and favor voluntary water agreements instead of state mandates,
it also endorses billion-dollar projects that flopped under
past governors. The first draft was well received by farmers,
water districts and others in California’s water circle, but
critics are worried the innovative and cheaper options are
already taking a backseat …
Since July, the Department of Water Resources (DWR) and State
Water Contractors have engaged in fruitless negotiations over
how to pay for a single-tunnel Delta Conveyance Facility. On
December 23, right before the holidays, DWR made their 6th
proposal to the State WaterContractors with a major shift in
The Santa Fe Irrigation District approved three percent water
rate increases for the next three years at a Jan. 16 hearing.
… The rate increases aim to help meet the district’s
objectives to ensure equity across customer classes, encourage
conservation and maintain financial stability as it faces
challenges such as the rising costs of imported water.
Utah first proposed building a 140-mile pipeline from Lake
Powell on the Utah-Arizona border more than a decade ago. The
plan, however, was waylaid by environmental and other reviews
during the Obama administration. … Reclamation signaled to
the state that it wants to move swiftly on the plan, in
recognition of how it was stalled at FERC…
In a groundbreaking vote, California has allocated nearly $45
million toward boosting highly efficient electric heat pump
technology that can help avoid burning fossil fuels to heat our
water, as well as store California’s abundant pollution-free
solar energy to give us piping-hot showers when the sun isn’t
The deaths of the trees, some of which lived through the rise
and fall of hundreds of empires, caliphates and kingdoms – not
to mention the inauguration of every US president – have
shocked researchers in their speed and novelty.
Inside the dome on top of the Penitencia Water Treatment plant
in San Jose is the first permanent x-band weather radar system
in the Bay Area. “The radar system that you see up there is
collecting crucial data as we speak,” said Norma Camacho, CEO
of Valley Water.“ Camacho joined the San Francisco P.U.C.,
Sonoma Water and other partners in unveiling the new system,
which will improve weather forecasting across the region.
As Gov. Gavin Newsom and his administration attempt to
establish a comprehensive and cohesive water policy for the
state, officials are seeking public input on the draft water
resilience portfolio released earlier this month. The document
was issued in response to Newsom’s April 2019 executive order
directing his administration to inventory and assess a wide
range of water-related challenges and solutions.
California’s vulnerability to climate change — from deadly
fires to sea level rise — has been well documented. But the
Legislature’s nonpartisan fiscal adviser says the state, with
rare exceptions, has only just begun to assess the risk climate
change poses to roads, dams, parks and schools.
Last year, with those recent calamities haunting the state,
officials took some unprecedented steps to avert a devastating
repeat. Did they work? Well, judging by the results tallied at
the end of the year, something went right.
While Newsom has been forced to address climate change on many
fronts during the past year – think wildfires, blackouts and
automobile standards – the state’s myriad water challenges must
remain a priority. Our state’s water system is decades old and
needs to be re-envisioned for a new era.