- Author: Vincent Lazaneo
A recent paper from Pittenger and Hodel suggested that, at 9 percent, landscape water was not a large part of the overall California water picture. While I understand the desire to defend urban landscapes and justify the amount of water currently used to maintain them, I believe that view is short-sighted and would benefit from a broader perspective. For example, we should take into account both the history of drought in California and the profound changes caused by global warming that have begun and are predicted to accelerate as the century progresses.
The historic record of our region's climate over the past 2,000 years has been scientifically...
The excitement about a potentially rain-bearing El Niño is building, and hopes for a swift end to California's ongoing drought are multiplying. At the same time, many of us who have worked extensively on water issues in the state fear the momentum and progress made on much-needed water reforms will be lost.
The prospect of a rainy year raises the question: what would it take for the drought to be over? The answer to that question turns out to be more complex than it might seem.
It is common.../h2>
- Author: Faith Kearns, PhD
When we think water in California, we tend to think big: the Sacramento River, the American, the Delta. But, the state is also filled with small headwater streams that can be particularly easy to overlook when, during the state's dry summers, they start to resemble a series of pools rather than flowing creeks. Adding insult to injury is a longstanding view that the fish and insect communities in these intermittent streams will be less diverse than those found in the larger rivers they run into.
It is against this backdrop that scientists at the University of California, Berkeley, with support from the California Institute for Water Resources, set out to study some small creeks in the northern part of the state. They...
- Author: Faith Kearns, PhD
This is a guest post from Missy Gable, UC Cooperative Extension Master Gardener program; Dave Fujino, California Center for Urban Horticulture, UC Davis; Janet Hartin, UC Cooperative Extension; Chuck Ingels, UC Cooperative Extension; Loren Oki, UC Davis; and Karrie Reid, UC Cooperative Extension.
Water scarcity is part of life in California, which has been made even clearer in this fourth year of drought. The state's long-term forecast includes less snow pack and increased demand on our diminished water resources. In response, Californians are evaluating their water use, both in the landscape and the home. An obvious sign of changing landscape practices are...
- Author: Doug Parker
- Author: Faith Kearns
These days, it seems everyone is looking for a silver bullet solution to California's drought. Some advocate increasing supply through more storage, desalination or water reuse. Others propose controlling demand through conservation or restriction of water use by urban and agricultural users.
Rarely do proponents of these single solutions seem to fully appreciate the complexity of California's water situation.
The fact is that in this large and semi-arid state, water is intimately tied to every aspect of life. Over time, we have consistently increased supplies while reducing demands to support a growing population and higher levels of agricultural commodity production.
A good rule of thumb to go by when...