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 Accounting 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. 

Publication | June 8, 2021

Stacked Incentives: Co-Funding Water Customer Incentive Programs

Water utilities throughout the United States offer customer incentives to motivate action and foster engagement with their customers. These incentive programs can take many forms, from rebates for high-efficiency fixtures and appliances to technical assistance for installing cisterns and rain gardens.

Blog | June 4, 2021

The 2021 Western Drought: What to Expect as Conditions Worsen

The American West has entered another drought crisis, with nearly the entire region (97 percent) facing abnormally dry conditions and over 70 percent of the region already in severe drought. State and local leaders are making emergency declarations. Water allocations are being slashed. We are already seeing fish die-offs and domestic wells running dry — and the dry season is just beginning.

Publication | May 24, 2021

Setting Enterprise Water Targets: A Guide for Companies

The complexity of global water challenges requires meaningful action across sectors, including the business sector. A critical aspect of business engagement in successful water stewardship is setting water targets that address the shared water challenges in the water basins where a company operates, sources, and provides goods and services, and that enable actions that reduce or eliminate the associated water risks.