California

July 22, 2015--California’s big groundwater problem (New York Times)

California struggles to measure how much water its heaviest users draw from its rivers and streams.


July 15, 2015--Is water on the way to becoming 'clear gold' in California? (Los Angeles Times)

Water may soon become more valuable than oil. That's the punch line of today's cartoon, which responds to the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power's proposal to raise revenue, to fix its crumbling infrastructure and encourage conservation during the ongoing California drought.


July 10, 2015--It's about to get easier for California farmers to conserve water—and sell it (CityLab)

There’s no “solving” California’s drought, as so many headlines suggest. Drought is a regular feature of the Western climate cycle.


July 6, 2015--California’s rural poor hit hardest as groundwater vanishes in long drought (Washington Post)

Whenever her sons rush indoors after playing under the broiling desert sun, Guadalupe Rosales worries. They rarely heed her constant warning: Don’t drink the water. It’s not safe. The 8- and 10-year-olds stick their mouths under a kitchen faucet and gulp anyway. There is arsenic in the groundwater feeding their community well at St.


July 5, 2015--California drought sends U.S. water agency back to drawing board (New York Times)

Drew Lessard stood on top of Folsom Dam and gazed at the Sierra Nevada, which in late spring usually gushes enough melting snow into the reservoir to provide water for a million people. But the mountains were bare, and the snowpack to date remains the lowest on measured record. “If there’s no snowpack, there’s no water,” said Mr.


July 2, 2015--Beyond the perfect drought: California’s real water crisis (Environment 360)

The current drought afflicting California is indeed historic, but not because of the low precipitation totals. In fact, in terms of overall precipitation and spring snowpack, the past three years are not record-breakers, according to weather data for the past century.


California Water Rights Exceed Supply

Among other serious water challenges, UC Davis researchers have found that in the last century, California has handed out rights to five times more surface water than their rivers produce even in a normal year. On some major river systems (i.e., the San Joaquin Valley), people have rights to nearly nine times more water than flows from the Sierra mountains.


Water Conservation Nullified by Growth

According to an early April Water Online article, while California residents are trying to conserve water, it may do little good in the face of population growth. California water agencies are on track to satisfy a state mandate to reduce water consumption 20 percent by 2020, but according to their own projections, that savings won’t be enough to keep up with population growth just a decade later.


Endless Growth

The punishing California drought is forcing a reconsideration of whether the aspiration of untrammeled growth that has for so long been this state’s driving engine has run against the limits of nature. “Mother Nature didn’t intend for 40 million people to live here,” said Kevin Starr, a historian at the University of Southern California who has written extensively about this state.


June 19, 2015--State's first-ever water plan in homestretch (Colorado Statesman)

Bring up the topic of Colorado water just about anywhere across the arid state, and before long someone is bound to invoke the state’s unofficial motto, a saying attributed to Mark Twain: Whiskey is for drinking.


Syndicate content