Article and Op-Eds Archives

nyt-logoMGM Resorts Tells Drought Panel It’s Saved 2 Billion Gallons
7.17.15– Sin City may look like a lush water-waster as the state endures its fourth year of a severe drought, but casino-resorts say their fountains and greenery are well-crafted illusions… Read more.
 la-times-logoHow more lawn restrictions could remake the California landscape
First it was existing lawns, with Gov. Jerry Brown leading the way in urging Californians to rip out swaths of green to save vast amounts of water… Read more.
guardian-news-logoThe madness of drinking bottled water shipped halfway round the world
7.9.15– Globally, we now drink as much packaged water as we do milk. At 30 litres per person per year, bottled water is the second most popular liquid refreshment … Read more.
pro-publica-logoToday’s Water Laws Encourage Waste. Can Big Data Help Shape Better Ones?
6.25.15– Water Talk is a series of conversations about how we’re “Killing the Colorado,” a multi-part investigation from ProPublica and Matter that tells the truth behind the water crisis in the West…. Read more.
wsj-logoThe Numbers Behind Agricultural Water Use
6.21.15– Perhaps you’ve noticed—and questioned—recent reports about California’s drought and the surprisingly large quantities of water required to produce foods grown there… Read more.
nyt-logoCalifornia Cuts Farmers’ Share of Scant Water
6.12.15– Farmers with rights to California water dating back more than a century will face sharp cutbacks, the first reduction in their water use since 1977… Read more.
nyt-logoYour Contribution to the Drought
5.21.15– California farmers produce more than a third of the nation’s vegetables and two-thirds of its fruits and nuts. To do that, they use nearly 80 percent… Read more.
 la-times-logoDrought Cuts Power Production of California Dams
Shasta Dam, looming more than 600 feet tall and gatekeeper of the largest man-made lake in California, was designed to perform two crucial… Read more.
sacbee-logoSoapbox: Don’t let special interests dictate state water policy
4.30.15– California’s water system is in a very delicate place – a transition from 19th and 20th century policies and institutions to a system that must work for a 21st century… Read more.
 guardian-news-logo$8bn Habitat Conservation Plan Scrapped as California Prioritises Agribusiness
4.29.15– For the past eight years, California politicians, utility companies, farmers and environmentalists have been arguing over the Bay Delta Conservation Plan… Read more.
New-Yorker-logoThe Dying Sea
There is a place in the California desert where a pipe pokes out from a berm made of broken concrete and delivers freshwater to a dying sea. I stood there… Read more.
 mercury-news-logoPeter H. Gleick: Ditch the Water-Wasting Lawns
4.17.15- It is time to redefine what we think of as a beautiful landscape and get rid of ornamental lawns in the arid western United States. The idea that… Read more.
imagesTaking the Hydro Out of hydropower
.18.15- California is facing its worst drought in a thousand years, according the state’s energy commission. The Snowpack in the Sierra Nevadas… Read more.
 sf-chronicle-logoCalifornia Drought: Why Mandatory Cuts Didn’t Hit Farms
4.8.15- As Californians prepare for unprecedented mandatory water reductions of 25 percent beginning next month, state officials find themselves defending… Read more.
nyt-logoCalifornia Drought Tests History of Endless Growth
For more than a century, California has been the state where people flocked for a better life — 164,000 square miles of mountains, farmland… Read more.
 washington-post-logoAs West Struggles with Drought, Complicated Water Politics Loom
4.3.15- Throughout the 19th century, Americans flooded to the western United States in search of resources: gold, timber, coal, oil. But the explosive growth of Western… Read more.
la-times-logoGov. Brown’s drought plan goes easy on agriculture
Gov. Jerry Brown’s historic order to curb California’s water use largely bypasses agriculture, the state’s biggest water user, setting off debate about whether growers… Read more.
CNNThe End of the Lawn
 When the news popped up on Carmen Uribe’s smartphone on Wednesday, she went into a near-panic: California, for the first time, would… Read more.
 New-Yorker-logoCalifornia Accepts a Drought-Filled Future
4.2.15– Phillips Station sits about sixty-eight hundred feet up in the Sierra Nevada mountain range, not far from the ski resorts near the southern shore of Lake… Read more.
 guardian-news-logoCalifornia’s drought is not getting better but experts look to startups for ideas
3.22.15- The last five years of Nasa data shows the California Central Valley has had drier than average conditions. Although the data hasn’t yet been completely processed for 2014, it is largely understood that this dry trend… Read more.
 nyt-logoCalifornia First to Feel Hydro-Power Crunch of Drought
3.21.15– Flying over the Sierra Nevada as California entered its fourth year of drought, the state’s energy chief looked down and saw stark bare granite cloaked in dirty… Read more.
 usa-today-logoIntensifying Calif. drought sets off alarms
3.18.15- As California’s epic drought continues with no end in sight, it is setting off new alarms about unprecedented water shortages, increased wildfire threats… Read more.
 bloomberg-bizCalifornia’s Cleaner Fuel Comes at Cost to Water: Report
3.17.15-The water it takes to supply energy to California, the biggest U.S. fuel market, has risen almost four-fold over two decades. And the culprit isn’t oil… Read more.
sf-chronicle-logoWater Wasters Elude Fines
 California water regulators, alarmed by slack conservation three years into a crippling drought, took the unprecedented step last summer… Read more.
 national-geographic-logoLack of Snow Leaves California’s ‘Water Tower’ Running Low
3.4.15- Snowpack—which essentially serves as a water tower for the western United States—produces vital meltwater that flows off the… Read more.
 mercury-news-logoCalifornia water conservation weakening as drought worsens. Tougher rules on the way?3.4.15- California is heading into the fourth summer of a historic drought, but when it comes to conserving water, its urban residents are going… Read more.
sf-chronicle-logoThe drought forecast calls for pain
For the fourth year in a row, California is in severe drought. Water allocations from the state and federal water projects will be far short of what farmers… Read more.
 logo-slideshow-huffington-postChanging the Way We Think About Water: Q&A with Peter Gleick
2.24.15- Peter Gleick knows water. An environmental scientist and communicator and co-founder of the Pacific Institute, the MacArthur “genius” fellow and member… Read more.
Slate_logoThe United States of Megadrought
2.12.15- When it comes to drought in the West, we ain’t seen nothin’ yet. That’s the conclusion from a new study that links an increasing risk of decades-long drought… Read more. 
logo_greenbizHow to do business in a world running out of water
– If there’s any doubt that water crises loom over the globe, consider these news headlines from a mere 10 days in January: from Brazil, “Sao Paulo… Read more.
 Desert SunAfter 12 years, legal dispute over water transfer ends
2.4.15- Imperial County and the Imperial Irrigation District announced a settlement in a long-running legal battle Tuesday, ending 12 years of litigation over a… Read more.
 national-geographic-logoCan Sun and Wind Make More Salt Water Drinkable?
2.2.15– The oceans have long taunted those who thirst. Records dating to A.D. 200 show that sailors boiled seawater and used sponges to absorb fresh water… Read more. 
Desert SunCongressman seek Salton Sea funding
Two California congressmen are urging President Barack Obama to support more funding for federal projects to remedy the complex problems of the Salton… Read more.
 logo-slideshow-huffington-post13 Weird Moments In The History Of Water Fountains
1.14.15-When was the last time you gave serious thought to a drinking fountain? Maybe it was in elementary school, when they were the only way to… Read more.
 mercury-news-logoCalifornia residents increase water conservation but fall short of state’s goal
1.6.15– After two months in a row of declining conservation, Californians are doing better at saving water, but they remain far short of a goal set by Gov. Jerry… Read more.
Desert SunOn top of drought, 2014 marked by extraordinary heat
1.2.15-Despite the blast of winter weather that swept across California at the end of 2014, much of the year stood out for extraordinary heat…Read more. 
 sf-chronicle-logoCalifornia’s water deficit: 11 trillion gallons
NASA satellites that have been tracking California’s troubled water supplies from space generated a first-ever estimate of how much water…Read more.
 guardian-news-logoWhat to do when climate change poses a risk to your water supply
12.10.14- As evidence of climate change mounts, businesses across all sectors of the economy are developing strategies for identifying and avoiding the risks… Read more.
nyt-logoLos Angeles, City of Water
LOS ANGELES is the nation’s water archvillain, according to public perception, notorious for its usurpation of water hundreds of miles away… Read more.
bloomberg-logoWater War Amid Brazil Drought Leads to Fight Over Puddles
Brazil’s Jaguari reservoir has fallen to its lowest level ever, laying bare measurement posts that jut from exposed earth like a line of dominoes. The nation’s… Read more.
 la-times-logo‘Looming environmental crisis’ at Salton Sea prompts plea for help
The Imperial Irrigation District has sent a plea to a state water board to help avert a “looming environmental and public health crisis” at the Salton Sea… Read more.
 nyt-logoPreserving a Mistake Made by Our Meddling With Nature
11.10.14– The area around this town of date palms attracts two kinds of migrants – hundreds of humans who work the land, and millions of birds who stop to rest… Read more.
newsweek-logoA Water Project Cleans Up Nairobi’s Slum
1.9.14– At 8 a.m., Patrick Mwangi meets me for breakfast at the Serena Hotel in downtown Nairobi. We are in the hotel’s restaurant, seated at a table covered…Read more.
 Desert SunCalifornia’s water bond, a $7.5B ‘down payment’
11.5.14– California’s newly approved $7.5 billion water bond will energize the state’s efforts to deal with a host of water problems by channeling money…Read more.
 la-times-logoProp. 1 aims to relieve drought — but not this one
10.29.14– California’s stubborn drought helped push a $7.5-billion water bond through the Legislature and onto the November ballot. But even if…Read more.
 kqed-logoCalifornia Voters to Decide $7.5 Billion Water Bond Measure
10.29.14– At three years and counting, one of the worst droughts in California history shows little sign of abating. So it’s no surprise…Read more. 
guardian-news-logoAction on improving poor water quality needs to come from government
10.27.14– Water is at once the most global of issues and the most local. Access to clean water is seen as a universal human right, yet your view of water is… Read more.
sf-chronicle-logo$7.5 Billion Plan Won’t Fix Drought 
10.23.14– An in-depth analysis of the $7.5 billion water bond
(Proposition 1) on the Nov. 4 ballot finds that it could benefit California’s communities and the…Read more.
 ABC7-logoVoters to Decide on Voting $7.1 B for Water Projects
10.20.14– While welcome, Monday’s rain does little to ease the state’s critical drought. In two weeks, voters will be asked to vote on a $7.1 billion bond — Proposition 1…Read more. 
 guardian-news-logoWater wars: a new reality for business and governments
– During his reign from 2,450-2,400BC, King of Lagash set about building boundary canals around his territory. The result was a gradual reduction in the water… Read more.
la-times-logoIn virtual mega-drought, California avoids defeat
10.5.14– A few years ago a group of researchers used computer modeling to put California through a nightmare scenario: Seven decades… Read more.
sf-chronicle-logoProposition 1:Voters to decide on $7.5 billion water bond
9.22.14– California voters will be faced with a $7.5 billion question this fall about whether to publicly finance a water bond meant to help the state better…Read more.
national-geographic-logoWhen the Snows Fail
9.19.14– For three generations the Diener family has farmed the same ten square miles of Central Valley dirt. In the 1920s they grew barley and alfalfa to feed the mules that powered…Read more.
 la-times-logoRotten-egg odor from Salton Sea prompts air quality warning
9.17.14– Increased level of hydrogen sulfide in the Salton Sea this week — marked by the tell-tale “rotten eggs” odor — prompted officials… Read more.
 national-geographic-logoAmid Drought, New California Law Will Limit Groundwater Pumping for First Time
9.17.14– Despite California’s reputation as an environmental policy leader, its regulation of groundwater extraction has long been among the weakest in the…Read more.
associated-press-logoCalifornia Homes Lack Water Meters During Drought
9.6.14-Although California is locked in a third year of historic drought, many homeowners and businesses still don’t have meters telling them just how much water… Read more.
la-times-logoSalton Sea inaction could cause ‘catastrophic change,’ report says
9.3.14-Saving the beleaguered Salton Sea will be expensive, but allowing it to continue deteriorating will cost even more in terms of dollars, unemployment… Read more.
Drought has State Debating its Unregulated Pumping
8.20.14– Three years of drought have Californians debating an end to the state’s status as one of the last in the West with a pump-as-you-please policy… Read more.
 nyt-logoHow Conservation and Groundwater Management Can Gird California for a Drier Era
8.1.14 – It’s way past time for California to come to grips with the possibility that its extraordinary water woes are the new normal — and essentially the return of the old … Read more. 
 takepart_logoYour Bottled Water Might Be Draining California’s Last Drops of H2O
7.15.14 – California experienced the driest year on record in 2013 and continues to be afflicted by a drought. California’s State Water Resources Control Board… Read more. 
logo-slideshow-huffington-postWater is Today’s Risky Business 
7.29.14 – Recently, a bi-partisan group of political and business leaders including Henry Paulson, Tom Steyer, Michael Bloomberg, Robert Rubin, and Olympia… Read more. 
Water-Efficiency-LogoRethinking Water Storage
7.24.14– On January 17, a state of drought emergency was declared in California by Governor Jerry Brown. By early February, snowpack in the Eastern Sierras… Read more.
national-geographic-logoStorms Get Headlines, but Drought Is a Sneaky, Devastating Game-Changer
7.15.13 – If droughts were hurricanes, people might pay more attention to them. Droughts can creep up on us with their prolonged absence of rain, and their effects… Read more
sci-american-logoThe Past and Future of California’s Water
7.13.14 – Aqueducts, dams and irrigation projects made  development possible in the West, but… Read more.
nyt-logoSaving Water in California
7.9.2014 – NY Times Editorial: California is in the third year of its worst drought in decades… Read more.
stockton-recordState May Turn Up Pressure on Water Violations
7.10.2014 – State water cops announced unprecedented emergency rules… Read more.
reno-gazette-journalCalifornia’s Flawed Water System Can’t Track Usage
6.28.2014– Nearly 4,000 California companies, farms and others are allowed to use free water… Read more.
 morning-editionMeters Would Help Sacramento Homes Save More Water
6.26.2014 – The drought in California is growing more serious by the day… Read more.
Desert SunVanishing Water
6.15.26– The biggest reservoir in the United States is dropping 1 foot each week… Read more.
national-geographic-logoCan California Conserve Its Way Through Drought?
6.13.2014– As California enters the hottest months of the summer in the midst of a devastating drought, the state appears to be falling short...Read more.
nbc-san-diego copyCalifornia Could Stretch Current Water Supply by One-Third: Report
6.12.2014– The water would be found by expanding use of existing strategies such as conservation, water recycling, rainwater capture, and more efficient agricultural irrigation techniques. Read more. 
bloomberg-logoCalifornia Has Potential to Turn Water Deficit to Surplus
6.10.2014– Drought-stricken California has more than twice the water capacity needed to erase an annual deficit of more than 6 million acre-feet,…Read more.
CSM-logoNew Ways to Make Dirty Water Clean
6.9.2014 – Traditional desalination has meant turning seawater into drinking water. But new technologies not only improve desalination but open up ways to use agricultural water and industrial effluent too. Read more
guardian-news-logoThe Age of Climate Warfare is Here. The Military-Industrial Complex is Ready. Are You?
A new study accepted for publication in the July issue of the American Meteorological Society’s journal Weather, Climate, and Society, underscores the role of climate changeRead more.
bloomberg-logoSyrian Conflict Exacerbated by Effects of Poor Water Management
-Wasteful irrigation practices coupled with a five-year drought in the Middle East increased tensions among those involved in Syria’s three-year civil war...Read more.
CSM-logoCities that Depend on Snowmelt for Water Could Face Problems, Study Suggests
5.19.14 – A new study finds that when more precipitation falls as rain instead of snow, stream flows in drainage basins decline. This could complicate matters for areas that need snowmelt … Read more
national-geographic-logo5 Dramatic Ways California Is Tackling Drought
5.8.14– California’s current drought is not the state’s driest spell on record in terms of total precipitation. If the state feels this drought as a particularly severe one…Read more.
ABC7-logoEBMUD Taps Sacramento River to Meet Water Demand
-As California’s historic drought continues, the East Bay Municipal Utility District is tapping the Sacramento River to help its 1.3 million customers in Alameda and Contra Costa counties weather the dry spring without water rationing…Watch video here.
kqed-logoTrue Water Restrictions Rare, Even in California’s Record-Breaking Drought
4.29.14 – 
May is fast approaching, and with it, the end of the rainy season. At least, what passed for a rainy season this year. Much of California is still in an “extreme” or even… Read more
irin-logoAnalysis: Conflict and Water
4.22.14 – In 2001 then UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan declared: “Fierce competition for fresh water may well become a source of conflict and wars… Read more
chicago-tribune-logoSpending: Cheap Water is Running Dry
4.18.14 – Americans, unlike people in many parts of the world, tend to take clean water for granted. For most of us, it’s also cheap: The average U.S. household pays $372 a year for drinking… Read more
bloomberg-view-logoBigger Dams Won’t Make California Greener
4.3.2014 – California’s northern rivers are so low that young Chinook salmon have to be trucked on their journey to the Pacific Ocean. Yet to listen to some farmers and their political allies…Read more.
nyt-logoWhat to do about the California Drought 
3.16.2014 – 
Re “Global Warming? Not Always,” by Martin P. Hoerling (Sunday Review, March 9): Re “Global Warming?” Read more
mercury-news-logoCalifornia Drought: More than 255,000 Homes and Businesses still don’t have Water Meters Statewide
3.8.14 – 
Despite urgent calls for water conservation amid one of California’s worst droughts, more than 255,000 homeowners and businesses across the state can still use all the water they want without paying higher bills. Read more
PrintAmerican Aqueduct: The Great California Water Saga
2.24.14 – A $25 billion plan, a small town, and a half-century of wrangling over the most important resource in the biggest state. Read more
mercury-news-logoPeter Gleick and Pacific Institute Emphasize Water Conservation
2.24.14 – 
Nearly three decades ago, when Peter Gleick started the Pacific Institute to work on water and other environmental issues, California was in the grip of a fierce drought. Read more
la-times-logoSevere drought? California has been here before
2.23.14 – A thousand-year tree-ring study shows that deep droughts come with the territory. Now the issue is how to deal… Read more
associated-press-logoGovernor Plans $687 Million for California Drought
2.19.14 – Gov. Jerry Brown and the top Democratic lawmakers on Wednesday announced a $687 million plan to provide immediate help to drought-stricken communities throughout… Read more
national-geographic-logoCan California Farmers Save Water and the Dying Salton Sea?
2.18.2014 – Standing atop a rocky outcrop on the southeastern edge of the Salton Sea in southern California, Bruce Wilcox pointed to the wooden ruins of a boat dock that dates back to the… Read more
 nbc-news-logoParched California Pours Mega-Millions Into Desalination Tech
2.17.2014 – Besieged by drought and desperate for new sources of water, California towns are ramping up plans to convert salty ocean water into drinking water to quench their long-term thirst. Read more.
Desert SunExperts Urge Long-Term Approach to Water Scarcity in California
2.13.14 – As President Barack Obama travels to Fresno focusing on California’s extreme drought, scientists are advocating efforts to align water use with dwindling supplies… Read more
world-mail-logoIn California, Not a Drop to Drink
2.10.14 – Within California’s complex and delicate infrastructure, the land around Bishop is vitally important. Nestled near the eastern border of the Sierra Nevada mountain range… Read more
businessweek-logoCalifornia Drought Impact Seen Spreading From Fires to Food Cost
2.07.14– The drought that’s gripping California may soon have the rest of the country seeking relief. The emergency, which follows the state’s driest year on record, is likely to… Read more
 forum-npr-logoDespite Recent Rain, Drought Fears Escalate
2.5.2014 – California faces what may be its worst drought in modern history. At least 17 communities and water districts in the state could run out of water within 100 days… Read more
 climate-progress-logoLeading Scientists Explain How Climate Change Is Worsening California’s Epic Drought
1.31.2014 – Scientists have long predicted that climate change would bring on ever-worsening droughts, especially in semi-arid regions like the U.S. Southwest. As climatologist James Hansen… Read more
associated-press-logoAmid Drought, California Agency Won’t Allot Water
1.31.2014 – Amid severe drought conditions, California officials announced Friday they won’t send any water from the state’s vast reservoir system to local agencies beginning … Read more
new-scientist-logoParched California hunts for water in unusual places
1.28.2014 – Water is running low in California. Reservoirs are receding, leaving lake beds cracking in the warm winter sun. Snowpack in the Sierra Nevada mountains, traditionally a third … Read more
1.28.2014 – I remember the dead lawns, 90-second timed showers, empty fountains and pools, and water cops issuing tickets for washing one’s dirty car. Read more
npr-on-point-logoCalifornia Drought And The U.S. Food Supply
1.27.2014 – They are praying for rain in California.  And facing drought.  A drought emergency, Governor Jerry Brown declared last week.  Worst in years.  Winter weather so warm… Read more. 
new-zealand-herald-logoCalifornia’s Drought Sparks Fears for Future
1.25.2014 – Some say state needs to rethink policies to suitably deal with climate change. Read more
motherjones6 Scary Facts About California’s Drought
1.18.2014 – “Fire season just didn’t end this year. The comment came from Scott Miller, the Los Angeles County fire inspector, in the wake of the Colby Fire in the foothills near Los Angeles … Read more
KTVU_2_logoDrought May Alter California Lifestyles
1.17.2014 – 
Water policy experts tell KTVU that the governor’s drought emergency declaration is an important first step. It may let the state divert water and get federal funds, but the… Read more
la-times-logoCalifornia declares drought emergency
1.17.2014 – Gov. Jerry Brown’s decree urges residents to cut water use by 20% and takes steps to ease shortage’s effects on farms and wildlife.
npr-logoIn California, Alarm Grows Over Shrinking Water Level
1.14.2014 – The drought in California has become so severe that cities are preparing to impose restrictions on water use in homes.  Listen to the story
sacbee-logoViewpoints: Why I’m still confused about the proposed tunnels in the Delta
11.6.2013 – I and my colleagues at the Pacific Institute have worked on California water issues for more than a quarter of a century. It is therefore no surprise that we get asked on a regular …Read More
Climate Change Likely to Increase Water Scarcity
9.25.2013 – In light of the recent Colorado flooding caused by unprecedented rainfall, it may seem counterintuitive to worry about a global paucity of water. Read More
 Water, Water, Everywhere—But Not A Drop To Drink?
9.17.2013 – With the planet getting warmer and more populated, the trend lines seem clear: the thirst on Earth is building. Is there enough water to go around, and if so, for how long? Read More
KTVU_2_logo16 Water Recommendations for the Next President
10.16.2012 – 
Dear Mr. President, Congratulations on winning approval from the American people to serve as leader of the United States for the next four years. We know you have a lot on your plate … Read more

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