After a day of discussions about the drought, PPIC senior research fellow Ellen Hanak, was asked to sum up.
“This drought, as challenging as it was—as it still is—has really provided the opportunity for folks from different agencies that have different management objectives to work together to make the most out of the little water that we’ve had available.”
“It was not as bad as it could have been,” she said. “And I think that that is going to continue.”
The keynote speakers and panelists at PPIC’s Managing Drought conference this week emphasized that there is much to do to make California more drought resilient. Climatologist Mike Anderson’s description of the state’s future made the challenges clear. Panelists throughout the day discussed the difficult tradeoffs California has yet to make in managing urban and agricultural scarcity, conserving ecosystems, and allocating water.
But the discussions also highlighted a path forward. Keynote speaker Jane Doolan described lessons California can learn from Australia’s experience with its millennium drought. Our legislator panelists pointed out that California has begun to make reforms in water management that—with diligent oversight—the state can build on.
We invite you to watch the videos of the Managing Drought conference. We hope you find the discussions constructive and useful.