water policy

Deep Water in Deep Trouble: Can We Save California’s Drying Aquifers?

It may not be a true meteorological “March Miracle,” but it’s close enough for government work, as government workers are wont to say.  The series of storms that have battered California in recent weeks have pumped up the snowpack in the Sierra and swelled streams at lower elevations. And it looks like we could be in for a last wet gasp from the Pacific, with a fairly robust front poised to dump rain and snow mid-week. For a state that still teeters on drought despite last year’s extraordinarily wet rainy season, that’s good news.

Groundwater Zero: We’re Worried About the Drought. But Not as Worried as We Should Be.

The drought is worrisome, of course. In response to state demands for a 25 percent reduction in urban consumption, municipal water districts are enforcing strictures on usage. Homeowners have steeled themselves, however unwillingly, to withering lawns and wilting hydrangeas. Most people have seen the news reports about some kind of fish or another dying in the Sacramento/San Joaquin Delta. And we’ve all heard that the cost of our baby salad greens is going to skyrocket, which can really bollix up menu plans for balanced and healthy meals.

No Joy in Mudville: Amid Drought, California’s Reservoirs are Clogged with Gunk

As the drought drags on and reservoir levels keep dropping, our politicians predictably are clamoring for new dams. But there may be a better and cheaper way to squeeze more water out of California’s desiccated watersheds: Clean out the gunk behind existing reservoirs. That’s because dams collect sediment from eroding watersheds along with water. Our reservoirs rapidly are filling up with silt, sand and rocks—and the more sediment, the less room there is to collect life-sustaining water.

Subscribe to water policy