October 30, 2014 – Oakland, CA: The California Department of Water Resources released the latest edition of the California Water Plan—a comprehensive, strategic plan for managing and developing water resources within the state. The Pacific Institute as well as many other stakeholder and government agencies were involved in the collaboration of this multi-volume report.
Volume 1 of the California Water Plan features research from Pacific Institute staff. Citing many of the Institute’s prior works, the first volume covers the strategic plan for improving California water as it is today. In addition, chapter five highlights a new Institute analysis on California’s water footprint – a measure of the total volume of freshwater that is used to produce the goods and services consumed by Californians. This study finds that the state’s water footprint has changed dramatically over the past two decades. During this period, the water footprint has doubled, from about 55 million acre-feet (maf) in 1992 to 100 maf in 2010. While California’s internal water footprint has declined, the external water footprint has grown dramatically, indicating that the state has become increasingly reliant on external water resources. In addition, California’s water resources have been increasingly devoted to products that are exported and consumed outside of the state. This assessment provides valuable information about how the state is using and managing its water resources, as well as addresses issues regarding sustainability.
The Pacific Institute is one of the world’s leading independent nonprofits conducting scientific research and policy analysis to create a healthier planet and sustainable communities. Based in Oakland, California, we conduct interdisciplinary research and partner with stakeholders to produce solutions that advance environmental protection, economic development, and social equity—in California, nationally, and internationally. Since our founding in 1987, the Pacific Institute has become a locus for independent, innovative thinking that cuts across traditional areas of study, helping us make connections and bring opposing groups together. The result is effective, actionable solutions addressing issues in the fields of freshwater resources, climate change, environmental justice, and globalization. More information about the Institute and our staff, directors, funders, and programs can be found at www.pacinst.org and www.worldwater.org.