General Interest

Oct 09, 2018

Drought on the Colorado – Can We Adapt to Changing Runoff?

2018-10-09T09:53:18+00:00Oct 09, 2018|

Snowmelt is shrinking and runoff is coming earlier on the Upper Colorado River, the source of 90 percent of water for 40 million people in the West. This is leading to vegetation changes, water quality issues and other concerns. But it may be possible to operate reservoirs differently to ease some of these effects. In September’s [...]

Oct 03, 2018

Groundwater and the Colorado River

2018-10-02T16:01:55+00:00Oct 03, 2018|

Like so many rivers, the Colorado is closely linked to groundwater. A US Geological Survey study found that more than half of the streamflow in the upper Colorado Basin originates as groundwater.  PPIC talked to Doug Kenney—director of the Western Water Policy Program at the University of Colorado and a member of the PPIC Water Policy Center research network―about [...]

Oct 01, 2018

SWIIM Expands Office In Fresno

2018-10-01T10:55:16+00:00Oct 01, 2018|

SWIIM has expanded its offices in the Central Valley, as it integrates its current Fresno team with OnFarm staffers.  They are now all working out of a larger office in Fresno, which is located in the Holiday Business Center, right down the street from our prior location.  Our new address in Fresno is 2023 North Gateway [...]

Sep 27, 2018

More Conservation, Cooperation Vital to Our New Era of Water Shortages

2018-09-27T09:10:21+00:00Sep 27, 2018|

A paddleboarder floats by Lone Rock and its “bathtub ring” on Lake Powell in March 2015 near Big Water, Utah. As chronic water shortages grip parts of the Western United States, a below-average flow of water is expected to flow through the Colorado River Basin into two of its biggest reservoirs, Lake Powell and [...]

Sep 25, 2018

What Motivates People to Use Less Water?

2018-09-25T08:47:13+00:00Sep 25, 2018|

During a drought, households can be inundated by messages to conserve water. PPIC talked to Katrina Jessoe—an economist at UC Davis and a member of the PPIC Water Policy Center’s research network―about new research on what motivates people to conserve water. PPIC: Talk about your recent research on water conservation messaging. What did you learn? Katrina Jessoe: We partnered [...]

Sep 21, 2018

Farmers thought they had 20 years to use groundwater as they wished – maybe not anymore

2018-09-18T14:46:10+00:00Sep 21, 2018|

California farmers are laboring under a daunting edict: They must stop over-pumping groundwater from beneath their ranches. The saving grace is that state law gives them more than 20 years to do it. Now, however, a landmark court ruling could force many farmers to curb their groundwater consumption much sooner than that, landing like a [...]

Sep 19, 2018

The Colorado River is headed for a water shortage

2018-09-18T13:44:28+00:00Sep 19, 2018|

© Getty Images Every day this summer brought another alarming reminder that our climate is steadily growing hotter and drier. Headlines across the country featured wall-to-wall coverage of increased temperatures, low water levels, rampant wildfires, and air filled with smoke. These conditions have been especially dire for the Colorado River Basin, which is [...]

Sep 17, 2018

Managed Aquifer Recharge in California

2018-09-17T08:52:35+00:00Sep 17, 2018|

This aerial view looks northeast over the Kern Water Bank, 30 square miles of protected natural environment in Kern County. Located to the southwest of Bakersfield, California, the Kern Water Bank stores excess water supplies that are available when rainfall or runoff is plentiful by recharging that water through shallow ponds into a underground [...]

Sep 12, 2018

Crisis at Lake Powell Looms Large as Long-Term Drought Reaches Upstream

2018-09-11T16:18:56+00:00Sep 12, 2018|

LIKE RUST SLOWLY consuming the body of a car, drought has spread upstream on the Colorado River. The river’s Upper Basin – generally north of Lake Powell – has been largely insulated from the 19-year drought afflicting the giant watershed, thanks to the region’s relatively small water demand and heavy snows that bury Colorado’s 14,000ft peaks [...]

Sep 10, 2018

How to comply with new California law without changing water rights

2018-09-07T15:10:19+00:00Sep 10, 2018|

Groundwater pumps in California's Pajaro Valley. Photo credit: USDA But as mangers in many areas work to combat decades of over-pumping, they face a major dilemma: In dividing the groundwater pie to avoid overuse, they can’t change Byzantine groundwater rights that date as far back as 1903. In a new working paper, “Groundwater Pumping Allocations [...]