Publication | October 24, 2021

Freshwater Scarcity

The availability and use of fresh water are critical for human health and for economic and ecosystem stability. But the growing mismatch between human demands and natural freshwater availability is contributing to water scarcity, affecting industrial and agricultural production and a wide range of social, economic, and political problems, including poverty, deterioration of ecosystem health, and violent conflicts.

Publication | September 9, 2021

The Future of California’s Water-Energy-Climate Nexus

Water and energy are inextricably linked in California and, as one resource faces constraints or challenges, so does the other. With the state looking to both reach its climate change goals and decarbonize its economy through a transition to 100 percent clean energy, water will play an integral role.

Publication | August 24, 2021

Water Resilience Assessment Framework

Climate change is driving many types of water challenges, including water scarcity and abundance, worsening water quality, and shifts in timing of the hydrologic cycle. Shocks and stresses affect the resilience of water systems and the stakeholders that rely on them. Specific guidance on how to understand system resilience and measure systematic changes and intervening actions can ensure a more resilient future for all.

Blog | August 16, 2021

Shortage Declaration in the Colorado River Basin Takeaways

Today, the US Secretary of the Interior declared a first-ever Shortage Condition for the Lower Colorado River Basin. After more than 21 years of drought in the western United States intensified by human-caused climate change, the Bureau of Reclamation has released a study projecting that the elevation of Lake Mead will be below an elevation triggering a Tier 1 Shortage Condition that will reduce water access to some users starting in January 2022. It’s a historic move sending reverberations throughout the water policy world — both within the United States and globally.

Blog | July 15, 2021

All Together Now? Differences in Water Shortage Conditions Across California 

California is back in a drought. You’ve heard it on the news, you’ve heard it from scientists, and they’re right — 100% of the state is in at least moderate drought. Yet, California Governor Gavin Newsom has yet to declare a statewide drought emergency, instead opting for county-level declarations — 50 of 58 counties have been declared so far this year.

Publication | July 2, 2021

Dying from the Heat

No one wants to be a statistic in a climate disaster—an anonymous entry in a dataset of extreme events. But sometimes things sneak up on you. A couple of weeks ago, during one of the extraordinary and severe heat events striking western North America, I almost suffered from heat stroke.

Publication | June 21, 2021

At Risk: Public Supply Well Vulnerability Under California’s Sustainable Groundwater Management Act

Community water systems in California’s San Joaquin Valley face a host of challenges that threaten the safety and reliability of drinking water, including pollution, periodic drought, and chronic groundwater overdraft. Moreover, shallow wells, some of which serve community water systems, are vulnerable to short-term and chronic declines in groundwater levels. For example, during the 2012-2016 drought, many domestic wells and some public supply wells went dry.