Topic: Energy and Water


Energy and Water

Water and energy are interconnected. A frequent term to describe this relationship is the “water-energy nexus.”

Energy for Water: Energy is needed to store water, get it where it is needed and also treat it to be used:

*  Extracting water from rivers and streams or pumping it from aquifers, and then conveying it over hills and into storage facilities is a highly energy intensive process. The State Water Project (SWP) pumps water 700 miles, including up nearly 2,000 feet over the Tehachapi Mountains. The SWP is the largest single user of energy in California. It consumes an average of 5 billion kWh per year. That’s about 2 to 3 percent of all electricity consumed in California
*  Water treatment facilities use energy to pump and process water for use in homes, businesses and industry
*  Consumers use energy to treat water with softeners or filters, to circulate and pressurize water and to heat and cool water
*  Wastewater plants use energy to pump wastewater to treatment plants, and also to aerate and filter it at the plant.

Different end uses require more electricity for delivery than others. Water for residential, commercial and industrial end-use needs the most energy (11 percent), followed by agricultural end-use (3 percent), residential, commercial and industrial supply and treatment (3 percent), agricultural water supply and treatment (1 percent) and wastewater treatment (1 percent), according to the California Energy Commission.

Water for Energy: Water is used to generate electricity

*  Water is needed either to process raw materials used in a facility or maintaining a plant,or to just generate electricity itself.

Overall, the electricity industry is second only to agriculture as the largest user of water in the United States. Electricity production from fossil fuels and nuclear energy requires 190,000 million gallons of water per day, accounting for 39 percent of all freshwater withdrawals in the nation. Coal, the most abundant fossil fuel, currently accounts for 52 percent of U.S. electricity generation, and each kWh generated from coal requires withdrawal of 25 gallons of water.

Aquafornia news E&E News

Western states ponder regional grid as renewables grow

In other areas of the country, electricity grids are organized under operators that coordinate and control the market across state lines. But in the Western Interconnection, which serves most of the western U.S. and parts of Canada, there are 38 different authorities responsible for balancing their own grids. … That could be especially valuable as the West deals with a decades-long drought that threatens hydropower, and as states and utilities close large coal plants. A regional market, experts say, would allow ample wind generation in more central states to flow west, while solar production from states like California and Arizona could be sent elsewhere.

Aquafornia news KCRA - Sacramento

Sacramento gas station fuel leak leads to contaminated soil, groundwater

Sacramento County officials on Friday said that two fuel tanks at a Sacramento gas station have leaked gasoline into soil and groundwater, though the risk to the general public is “very low.” The county said the leak happened with two underground fuel tanks at Bonfare Market and Gas Station, which is located at 2600 Rio Linda Boulevard. A third underground tank was not found to be faulty. The tanks have since been emptied and are offline, the county said. The issues stem from an initial report of a leak in February 2022, county spokesperson Samantha Mott said. One tank was immediately emptied and put out of service and an initial assessment did not reveal groundwater contamination. Later, an investigation as part of a clean-up plan found that gasoline contamination had migrated, exposing groundwater to contamination.

Aquafornia news CalMatters

Controversial Monterey Bay desalination plant approved

The California Coastal Commission [Thursday night] approved another desalination plant, despite citing its high costs, risks to Monterey Bay’s environment and “the most significant environmental justice issues” the commission has faced in recent years.  The commission’s divided, 8-to-2 vote came after 13 hours of debate at a Salinas public hearing packed with several hundred people, plus more crammed into overflow space. Many of the 375 who signed up to speak opposed the project — some in tears. Much of the debate focused on the fairness of locating a for-profit company’s facility in the Monterey County city of Marina — which does not need the water and is home to designated disadvantaged neighborhoods. The expensive supply will flow to other communities, including the whiter, wealthy enclaves of Carmel-by-the-Sea, Pacific Grove and Pebble Beach. 

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Aquafornia news Nature

Analysis: Smarter ways with water

In just a few months this year, abnormally low water levels in rivers led China to shut down factories and to floods in one-third of Pakistan, killing around 1,500 people and grinding the country to a halt. A dried-up Rhine River threatened to tip Germany’s economy into recession, because cargo ships could not carry standard loads. And the Las Vegas strip turned into a river and flooded casinos, chasing customers away. … With mounting climate-fuelled weather disasters, social inequality, species extinctions and resource scarcity, some corporations have adopted sustainability programmes. One term in this realm is ‘circular economy’, in which practitioners aim to increase the efficiency and reuse of resources, including water — ideally making more goods (and more money) in the process.

Aquafornia news San Francisco Chronicle

Microplastics rife in these Monterey Bay fish and seabirds, study finds

Microplastic particles are widespread in Monterey Bay anchovies and the diving seabirds that eat them as a main food source - which could possibly impact the birds’ reproductive systems, according to a new study. Scientists at UC Santa Cruz, UC Davis and the San Diego Zoo Wildlife Alliance studied microplastic pollution in Monterey Bay by testing microplastic particles in the water and in anchovies and common murres, a bird species found in abundance in the region. … The study also comes two months after California became the first state in the United States to begin requiring water agencies to test for microplastics, which can be found everywhere from clothing, food packaging, drinking water and the ocean.

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Aquafornia news CA Department of Water Resources

News release: Sustainable techniques bring concrete results: making DWR infrastructure carbon-friendly

With Governor Newsom’s recent pledge to invest $8 billion in water infrastructure, carbon-friendly concrete is increasingly in the mix in Department of Water Resources’ (DWR) infrastructure projects. This includes efforts to modernize California’s largest water delivery system, the State Water Project (SWP). … The cement industry produces about 7% of carbon emissions globally (about double the emissions from global air travel.) Over half of these emissions are from the chemical alteration of materials during production. The remaining emissions are from the burning of fossil fuels to generate the high temperatures needed to make concrete.

Aquafornia news Bloomberg

Drought-stricken Mississippi River blocks key US port from the world

The Mississippi River — the immense, quiet highway that courses down the middle of America, moving critical food, wood, coal and steel supplies to global markets — is shrinking from drought, forcing traffic to a crawl at the worst possible time. With water levels at record lows, barges have run aground, causing traffic jams as boats wait for the US Army Corps of Engineers to dredge a path through the shallows. … This year has seen rivers across the US, Europe and China shrinking amid scarce rains and high heat. The vaunted Colorado River, caught in the Southwest’s worst drought in 1,200 years, has dwindled to the point where its major hydroelectric dams are in danger of shutting down, threatening the booming desert cities that rely on it. 

Aquafornia news Public Policy Institute of California

Video: Solar development in the San Joaquin Valley

Hundreds of thousands of acres of San Joaquin Valley farmland may come out of irrigated production in the coming decades to help balance overdrafted groundwater basins under the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act. At the same time, California needs to ramp up clean energy development to meet the goals of SB 100—and the valley has high solar potential. At a virtual event last week, PPIC Water Policy Center research fellow Andrew Ayres moderated a panel of experts and local stakeholders; they explored how solar development could help California meet multiple objectives while overcoming some challenges and delivering lasting benefits to the region.

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Aquafornia news CalMatters

Opinion: Put solar in California deserts, not fertile farmlands

Successfully coping with severe droughts in California and the Southwest requires tough choices, all of them expensive and none of them perfect. But taking millions of acres out of cultivation and replacing them with solar farms is not the answer. California produces over one-third of America’s vegetables and three quarters of the country’s fruits and nuts – more than half of which is grown in the San Joaquin Valley. According to the California Farmland Trust, the San Joaquin Basin contains the world’s largest patch of Class 1 soil, which is the best there is.
-Written by Edward Ring, co-founder of the California Policy Center and author of the book “The Abundance Choice – Our Fight for More Water in California.” 

Aquafornia news Inside Climate News

Corpus Christi sold its water to Exxon, gambling on desalination. So far, it’s losing the bet

Five years ago, when ExxonMobil came calling, city officials eagerly signed over a large portion of their water supply so the oil giant could build a $10 billion plant to make plastics out of methane gas.  A year later, they did the same for Steel Dynamics to build a rolled-steel factory.  Never mind that Corpus Christi, a mid-sized city on the semi-arid South Texas coast, had just raced through its 50-year water plan 13 years ahead of schedule. Planners believed they had a solution: large-scale seawater desalination. According to the plan in 2019, the state’s first plant needed to be running by early 2023 to safely meet industrial water demands that were scheduled to come online. But Corpus Christi never got it done.

Aquafornia news City News Service

Proposal to place solar panels over LA Aqueduct advances

A proposal to place solar panels over the 370-mile Los Angeles Aqueduct in an attempt to reduce evaporation and add capacity for renewable energy for residents was approved by a council committee this week. Around one-tenth of the water in the aqueduct is lost from evaporation each year due to the length of travel for water to make it through the aqueduct, according to the office of Councilman Mitch O’Farrell, who introduced the motion. O’Farrell is the chair of the council’s Energy, Climate Change, Environmental Justice, and River committee.

Aquafornia news Desert Sun

Lithium Valley: Hundreds comment on state panel’s draft report

At the tail end of another marathon Lithium Valley Commission meeting last Monday, Jared Naimark, an organizer for an environmental nonprofit called Earthworks, asked a question: “When will commissioners discuss the public comments that were received on the draft report?” But the nearly four-hour meeting was adjourned with both that question and earlier comments Naimark made left unanswered. … As the ”blue ribbon” commission pushes toward a self-imposed Dec. 1 deadline to submit its mandated report to the California Legislature with recommendations on the nascent but potential multi-billion dollar industry at the south end of the Salton Sea, it has received hundreds of comments, spanning a wide range of perspectives.

Aquafornia news Record Searchlight

PG&E warns of high flows on McCloud River

Through Nov. 21, people recreating near or in the lower McCloud River — the stretch between McCloud Dam and Lake Shasta — should watch for fast-flowing water and higher than normal water levels. Flows are about a foot higher on the lower McCloud River in northern Shasta County while Pacific Gas and Electric Company maintenance crews work on the James B. Black Powerhouse, the utility company said. That’s because PG&E won’t divert water from the McCloud Reservoir to Iron Canyon Reservoir and to the powerhouse while crews work in the area. As a result, the McCloud Reservoir filled and excess water is coming over the spillway into the lower McCloud River.

Aquafornia news Los Angeles Times

Best environmentally friendly gifts to save water

The holidays can be hard for the eco-conscious. All that shiny wrapping paper and ribbon, for instance, wadded into non-recyclable mounds. Visitors who don’t know (or care to learn) the routine about composting or separating trash and spend hours running water in the shower. Soften the blow by including these water- and power-saving gifts as stocking stuffers and/or main-event presents for your environmentally friendly friends and family.

Aquafornia news Wine Enthusiast Magazine

Wineries embrace worms in the fight to conserve water

Laura Díaz Muñoz, winemaker and general manager at Ehlers Estate in Napa Valley, is passionate about worms. They factor deeply into the notable focus on sustainability at Ehlers, a 130-year-old, certified-organic, family-owned property. It all begins with water. … Spread across five acres at the sprawling Parlier, California, facility of O’Neill Vineyards, what appear to be 12 Olympic-sized swimming pools are in fact sunken beds filled with worms. BioFiltro’s largest winery system to date, unveiled in September 2020, it’s capable of processing more than a million gallons of wastewater a day, and up to 80 million gallons a year.

Aquafornia news Food and Environment Reporting Network

California’s San Joaquin Valley looks to solar, not farming, as climate change worsens

California’s San Joaquin Valley will become increasingly difficult to farm as climate change intensifies. But with the right regulations and policies, the state’s multi-billion dollar agricultural belt could become something else — a clean energy powerhouse that the state desperately needs. At a panel event on Tuesday, energy professionals and community leaders gave a glimpse of the valley’s potential future — one where alfalfa fields give way to solar farms and carbon is sequestered beneath fallowed orchards. They also acknowledged how daunting an economic transition it would be.

Related articles: 

Aquafornia news The Washington Post

In Nevada, a tribe and a toad halt a geothermal plant

After about a decade of grinding its way through the federal permitting process, Ormat, a geothermal company, was building a new power plant in Dixie Valley to produce renewable energy. … But soon came another legal snag. The company halted construction in August while federal agencies meet to discuss whether the project should move forward. The rugged, remote corner of Nevada’s Great Basin region found itself at the epicenter of a confrontation between some of President Biden’s, and the nation’s, most pressing priorities: renewable energy, wildlife conservation and Indigenous rights…. environmentalists and tribes are pressing the Biden administration to begin land and water protections at Dixie Valley and elsewhere. The administration’s decision could affect not just Ormat’s plans and this patch of Nevada but also projects and landscapes across the country.

Aquafornia news Stanford Daily

New research: Plant breathing patterns can help predict drought impacts, researchers find

New research from Stanford’s Remote Sensing Ecohydrology group published earlier this week in Nature improved the accuracy of earth systems models that examine the impact of droughts on ecosystems through considering plants’ breathing patterns. Droughts are increasing around the world: More than 29 million acres of land are lost to drought and desertification annually, according to a 2022 UN report. Better understanding of how plants contribute to droughts is critical to planning adaptation response.

Aquafornia news Spectrum News 1

Easing the drought: Answers are right in front of our eyes

With longer and more frequent droughts happening around the globe, technologies are advancing to help ease the effects of drought and bring fresh water to dry climates. Fog catching, desalination and atmospheric water harvesting are three techniques used to help mitigate water shortages around the globe. 

Related articles: 

Aquafornia news The New York Times

Beyond catastrophe: A new climate reality is coming into view

Just a few years ago, climate projections for this century looked quite apocalyptic…. Now, with the world already 1.2 degrees hotter, scientists believe that warming this century will most likely fall between two or three degrees….A little lower is possible, with much more concerted action; a little higher, too, with slower action and bad climate luck. Those numbers may sound abstract, but what they suggest is this: Thanks to astonishing declines in the price of renewables, a truly global political mobilization, a clearer picture of the energy future and serious policy focus from world leaders, we have cut expected warming almost in half in just five years.

Aquafornia news The Business Journal

Shrimp in the desert? Fresno-based startup making it happen

The Water, Energy, and Technology (WET) Center at Fresno State has announced 10 new companies for its Valley Ventures accelerator program. … Mojave Seafood Inc. is a startup producing seafood in the Mojave Desert that will serve Southern California and the Bay Area using the Aqua-μ Technology Suite, a propriety, interactive group of technologies. … It takes 1.1 kilograms of dry food to make shrimp grow by 1 kilogram of fresh weight as opposed to a cow, which takes 6.8 kilograms of feed to gain one kilogram of body mass. … Schrader said that with the growing interest in what aquaculture can offer — paired with water scarcity and environmental restrictions — it is very possible the Central Valley will be home to seafood farms soon.

Aquafornia news The New York Times

Can a start-up help companies monitor and manage their water use?

Drought, drought, everywhere and not a drop to drink, to misquote the Ancient Mariner. It has become increasingly clear that the world is running short of fresh water. Yet, while there are many companies addressing carbon — the main culprit in climate change — few focus on water, and more specifically how corporations should be monitoring and controlling their use of it. … Waterplan’s software platform integrates public watershed data and customer water use data to help companies in water-intensive industries make sure that their current or future operations are not affected by drought. … In the United States, a swath of land from California to Texas was facing its worst drought in 1,200 years. 

Aquafornia news San Francisco Chronicle

Review: Poison plastics are the climate-change catastrophe killing us on a micro scale

Journalist Matt Simon’s urgent new book “A Poison Like No Other: How Microplastics Corrupted Our Planet and Our Bodies” is classified as environmental science but could comfortably be labeled as horror. … Microplastics are so ubiquitous that they are in the very air we breathe. One study “calculated that each year the equivalent of 300 million water bottles fall on just 6 percent of [the U.S.] landmass.” … To what do those little bits add up? California alone expels 9 million pounds of microplastics a year, or the weight of 80 million rubber duckies. By 2050, plastic in the ocean will outweigh all the fish that reside there.

Related article: 

Aquafornia news Vox

Where used electric vehicle batteries will end up

Recycling is often an overlooked but critical piece of a clean energy future. To address climate change, we’ll need to replace the fuels that run our homes, buildings, and vehicles with electricity powered by clean energy. Nowhere is this more important than in transportation, the US’s most polluting sector. The challenge is that each vehicle needs its own battery, complete with copper, cobalt, nickel, manganese, graphite, and lithium. … Two of those potential sites are in places like Nevada’s Thacker Pass, an open pit mine, and California’s Salton Sea basin, where there are large underwater deposits. 

Aquafornia news JDSupra-Troutman Pepper

Blog: Supreme Court of California finds FERC license preempts challenge to FERC order

On August 1, the Supreme Court of California upheld a decision by the Court of Appeal, which found that the Federal Power Act (FPA) preempts application of the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) when the state is acting on its own behalf as licensee of a hydroelectric project. The case stems from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC or Commission) relicensing proceeding for the Oroville Hydroelectric Project (Project) in Butte County, CA in which the California Department of Water Resources (DWR) is the FERC licensee.

Aquafornia news Bloomberg Law

California approves desalination project with another on deck

A California desalination project to bolster the region’s water supply has won state regulators’ approval, but a separate site faces what is expected to be a more contentious vote next month. The California Coastal Commission’s 11-0 vote to green-light the $140 million Doheny Ocean Desalination Project in Orange County’s Dana Point was a win for desalination advocates and Gov. Gavin Newsom’s (D) plan to boost the state’s water supply that draws in part on the technology. “We believe that the project before you today, although not perfect, provides a solid example that we can use in planning for future desalination,” …

Related article: 

Aquafornia news The Week

The consequences of a plastic-filled world

Today, the world produces approximately 400 million tons of plastic waste per year. … Plastic contains lots of chemicals and additives making the material durable and flexible; however, plastic’s durability lasts far beyond the length of time humans use it … meaning essentially all plastic ever produced still exists somewhere on Earth, according to National Geographic. That is a staggering 9.2 billion tons of plastic. Much of this ends up in oceans and on coastlines endangering sea life. … While the media often shows images of fish strangled by six-pack rings or turtles accidentally eating plastic straws, a deeper problem is emerging: microplastics.

Related article: 

Aquafornia news The Guardian

There’s lithium in them thar hills – but fears grow over US ‘white gold’ boom

Deep in the parched landscapes of Nevada, there is a stirring boom. The mining of lithium holds the promise of a treasured resource that can help slow disastrous global heating. … Across Nevada, there are more than 17,000 prospecting claims for lithium, a soft metal dubbed “white gold” by investors due to its scarcity and increasing value as clean energy components, with several new major projects now planned. … But the prospect of this new era of mining has unnerved some environmentalists and native American groups. Three-quarters of all known deposits of lithium in America are found near tribal land, igniting fears that a decline in destructive fossil-fuel mining could simply be replaced by a new form of harmful extraction.

Tour Nick Gray

Lower Colorado River Tour 2022
Field Trip - March 16-18

The lower Colorado River has virtually every drop allocated, yet demand is growing from myriad sources — increasing population, declining habitat, drought and climate change.

The 1,450-mile river is a lifeline to 40 million people in the Southwest across seven states, 30 tribal nations and Mexico. How the Lower Basin states – Arizona, California and Nevada – use and manage this water to meet agricultural, urban, environmental and industrial needs was the focus of this tour.

Hyatt Place Las Vegas At Silverton Village
8380 Dean Martin Drive
Las Vegas, NV 89139

Lower Colorado River Tour 2021
A Virtual Journey - May 20

This event explored the lower Colorado River where virtually every drop of the river is allocated, yet demand is growing from myriad sources — increasing population, declining habitat, drought and climate change.

The 1,450-mile river is a lifeline to 40 million people in the Southwest across seven states and Mexico. How the Lower Basin states – Arizona, California and Nevada – use and manage this water to meet agricultural, urban, environmental and industrial needs was the focus of this tour. 

Western Water California Water Map Gary Pitzer

How Private Capital is Speeding up Sierra Nevada Forest Restoration in a Way that Benefits Water
WESTERN WATER SPOTLIGHT: A bond fund that fronts the money is expediting a headwaters restoration project to improve forest health, water quality and supply

District Ranger Lon Henderson with Tahoe National Forest points toward an overgrown section of forest within the Blue Forest project area. The majestic beauty of the Sierra Nevada forest is awe-inspiring, but beneath the dazzling blue sky, there is a problem: A century of fire suppression and logging practices have left trees too close together. Millions of trees have died, stricken by drought and beetle infestation. Combined with a forest floor cluttered with dry brush and debris, it’s a wildfire waiting to happen.

Fires devastate the Sierra watersheds upon which millions of Californians depend — scorching the ground, unleashing a battering ram of debris and turning hillsides into gelatinous, stream-choking mudflows. 

Lower Colorado River Tour 2020
Field Trip - March 11-13

This tour explored the lower Colorado River where virtually every drop of the river is allocated, yet demand is growing from myriad sources — increasing population, declining habitat, drought and climate change.

The 1,450-mile river is a lifeline to 40 million people in the Southwest across seven states and Mexico. How the Lower Basin states – Arizona, California and Nevada – use and manage this water to meet agricultural, urban, environmental and industrial needs is the focus of this tour. 

Silverton Hotel
3333 Blue Diamond Road
Las Vegas, NV 89139

Lower Colorado River Tour 2018

Lower Colorado River Tour participants at Hoover Dam.

We explored the lower Colorado River where virtually every drop of the river is allocated, yet demand is growing from myriad sources — increasing population, declining habitat, drought and climate change.

The 1,450-mile river is a lifeline to 40 million people in the Southwest across seven states and Mexico. How the Lower Basin states – Arizona, California and Nevada – use and manage this water to meet agricultural, urban, environmental and industrial needs was the focus of this tour.

Hampton Inn Tropicana
4975 Dean Martin Drive, Las Vegas, NV 89118
Tour Nick Gray

Lower Colorado River Tour 2019

This three-day, two-night tour explored the lower Colorado River where virtually every drop of the river is allocated, yet demand is growing from myriad sources — increasing population, declining habitat, drought and climate change.

The 1,450-mile river is a lifeline to 40 million people in the Southwest across seven states and Mexico. How the Lower Basin states – Arizona, California and Nevada – use and manage this water to meet agricultural, urban, environmental and industrial needs is the focus of this tour. 

Best Western McCarran Inn
4970 Paradise Road
Las Vegas, NV 89119
Western Water Magazine

Tapping the Ocean: What is the Role of Desalination?
Winter 2016

This issue looks at the role of ocean desalination in meeting California’s water needs today and in the future.


Restoring a River: Voices of the San Joaquin

This 30-minute documentary-style DVD on the history and current state of the San Joaquin River Restoration Program includes an overview of the geography and history of the river, historical and current water delivery and uses, the genesis and timeline of the 1988 lawsuit, how the settlement was reached and what was agreed to.


A Climate of Change: Water Adaptation Strategies

This 25-minute documentary-style DVD, developed in partnership with the California Department of Water Resources, provides an excellent overview of climate change and how it is already affecting California. The DVD also explains what scientists anticipate in the future related to sea level rise and precipitation/runoff changes and explores the efforts that are underway to plan and adapt to climate.


Stormwater Management: Turning Runoff into a Resource

20-minute DVD that explains the problem with polluted stormwater, and steps that can be taken to help prevent such pollution and turn what is often viewed as a “nuisance” into a water resource through various activities.


Drinking Water: Quenching the Public Thirst (60-minute DVD)

Many Californians don’t realize that when they turn on the faucet, the water that flows out could come from a source close to home or one hundreds of miles away. Most people take their water for granted; not thinking about the elaborate systems and testing that go into delivering clean, plentiful water to households throughout the state. Where drinking water comes from, how it’s treated, and what people can do to protect its quality are highlighted in this 2007 PBS documentary narrated by actress Wendie Malick. 


Drinking Water: Quenching the Public Thirst (30-minute DVD)

A 30-minute version of the 2007 PBS documentary Drinking Water: Quenching the Public Thirst. This DVD is ideal for showing at community forums and speaking engagements to help the public understand the complex issues surrounding the elaborate systems and testing that go into delivering clean, plentiful water to households throughout the state.


Water on the Edge (60-minute DVD)

Water truly has shaped California into the great state it is today. And if it is water that made California great, it’s the fight over – and with – water that also makes it so critically important. In efforts to remap California’s circulatory system, there have been some critical events that had a profound impact on California’s water history. These turning points not only forced a re-evaluation of water, but continue to impact the lives of every Californian. This 2005 PBS documentary offers a historical and current look at the major water issues that shaped the state we know today. Includes a 12-page viewer’s guide with background information, historic timeline and a teacher’s lesson.

Maps & Posters

Klamath River Watershed Map
Published 2011

This beautiful 24×36 inch poster, suitable for framing, displays the rivers, lakes and reservoirs, irrigated farmland, urban areas and Indian reservations within the Klamath River Watershed. The map text explains the many issues facing this vast, 15,000-square-mile watershed, including fish restoration; agricultural water use; and wetlands. Also included are descriptions of the separate, but linked, Klamath Basin Restoration Agreement and the Klamath Hydroelectric Agreement, and the next steps associated with those agreements. Development of the map was funded by a grant from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

Maps & Posters

Carson River Basin Map
Published 2006

A companion to the Truckee River Basin Map poster, this 24×36 inch poster, suitable for framing, explores the Carson River, and its link to the Truckee River. The map includes Lahontan Dam and Reservoir, the Carson Sink, and the farming areas in the basin. Map text discusses the region’s hydrology and geography, the Newlands Project, land and water use within the basin and wetlands. Development of the map was funded by a grant from the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation Mid-Pacific Region, Lahontan Basin Area Office.

Maps & Posters Colorado River Bundle

Colorado River Basin Map
Redesigned in 2017

Redesigned in 2017, this beautiful map depicts the seven Western states that share the Colorado River with Mexico. The Colorado River supplies water to nearly 40 million people in Arizona, California, Colorado, Nevada, New Mexico, Utah, Wyoming and the country of Mexico. Text on this beautiful, 24×36-inch map, which is suitable for framing, explains the river’s apportionment, history and the need to adapt its management for urban growth and expected climate change impacts.


Layperson’s Guide to the Colorado River
Updated 2018

Cover page for the Layperson's Guide to the Colorado River .

The Colorado River provides water to 40 million people and 4 million acres of farmland in a region encompassing some 246,000 square miles in the southwestern United States. The 32-page Layperson’s Guide to the Colorado River covers the history of the river’s development; negotiations over division of its water; the items that comprise the Law of the River; and a chronology of significant Colorado River events.


Layperson’s Guide to California Water
Updated 2021

The 24-page Layperson’s Guide to California Water provides an excellent overview of the history of water development and use in California. It includes sections on flood management; the state, federal and Colorado River delivery systems; Delta issues; water rights; environmental issues; water quality; and options for stretching the water supply such as water marketing and conjunctive use. New in this 10th edition of the guide is a section on the human need for water. 

Aquapedia background

Lake Powell and Glen Canyon Dam

The construction of Glen Canyon Dam in 1964 created Lake Powell. Both are located in north-central Arizona near the Utah border. Lake Powell acts as a holding tank for outflow from the Colorado River Upper Basin States: Colorado, New Mexico, Utah and Wyoming.

The water stored in Lake Powell is used for recreation, power generation and delivering water to the Lower Basin states of California, Arizona, and Nevada. 

Western Water Magazine

Hydraulic Fracturing and Water Quality: A Cause for Concern?
September/October 2012

This printed issue of Western Water looks at hydraulic fracturing, or “fracking,” in California. Much of the information in the article was presented at a conference hosted by the Groundwater Resources Association of California.

Western Water Excerpt Gary PitzerRita Schmidt Sudman

Making the Connection: The Water/Energy Nexus
September/October 2010

The connection between water and energy is more relevant than ever. After existing in separate realms for years, the maxim that it takes water to produce energy and energy to produce water has prompted a re-thinking of management strategies, including an emphasis on renewable energy use by water agencies.

Western Water Magazine

Making the Connection: The Water/Energy Nexus
September/October 2010

This printed issue of Western Water looks at the energy requirements associated with water use and the means by which state and local agencies are working to increase their knowledge and improve the management of both resources.

Western Water Magazine

Desalination: A Drought Proof Supply?
July/August 2009

This printed issue of Western Water examines desalination – an issue that is marked by great optimism and controversy – and the expected role it might play as an alternative water supply strategy.

Western Water Magazine

A Significant Challenge: Adapting Water Management to Climate Change
January/February 2008

This printed copy of Western Water examines climate change – what’s known about it, the remaining uncertainty and what steps water agencies are talking to prepare for its impact. Much of the information comes from the October 2007 California Climate Change and Water Adaptation Summit sponsored by the Water Education Foundation and DWR and the November 2007 California Water Policy Conference sponsored by Public Officials for Water and Environmental Reform.

Western Water Magazine

Turning Water into Power: Hydropower Projects Under Review
September/October 2005

Hydropower generation is prevalent in the West, where rapidly flowing river systems have been tapped for generations to produce electricity. Hydropower is a clean, steady and reliable energy source, but the damming of rivers has exacted a toll on the environment, affecting, among other things, the migration of fish to vestigial spawning grounds. Many of those projects are due to be relicensed by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission.

Western Water Magazine

Dealing with the Shock: Shedding Light on the Link Between Water and Power in California
September/October 2001

The California power crisis has made international headlines. But what is the link between water and power in California? How is the state’s dry spell affecting its hydropower generation? How has the electric crisis affected water users in the state? These questions and others are addressed in this issue of Western Water.