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object(Timber\Post)#3711 (44) { ["ImageClass"]=> string(12) "Timber\Image" ["PostClass"]=> string(11) "Timber\Post" ["TermClass"]=> string(11) "Timber\Term" ["object_type"]=> string(4) "post" ["custom"]=> array(5) { ["_wp_attached_file"]=> string(12) "R_616JMR.pdf" ["wpmf_size"]=> string(6) "563661" ["wpmf_filetype"]=> string(3) "pdf" ["wpmf_order"]=> string(1) "0" ["searchwp_content"]=> string(66720) "PPIC WATER POLICY CENTER JUNE 2016 Jeffrey Mount, Brian Gray, Caitrin Chappelle, Jane Doolan, Theodore Grantham, Nathaniel Seavy with research support from Jelena Jezdimirovic Supported with funding from The David and Lucile Packard Foundation, the US Environmental Protection Agency, and the Water Foundation, an initiative of the Resources Legacy Fund Managing Water for the Environment During Drought Lessons from Victoria, Australia © 2016 Public Policy Institute of California PPIC is a public charity. It does not take or support positions on any ballot measures or on any local, state, or federal legislation, nor does it endorse, support, or oppose any political parties or candidates for public office. Short sections of text, not to exceed three paragraphs, may be quoted without written permission provided that full attribution is given to the source. Research publications reflect the views of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of the staff, officers, or board of directors of the Public Policy Institute of California. PPIC.ORG/WATER Managing Water for the Environment During Drought 3 Introduction 4 Victoria’s Approach to Environmental Drought Management 5 The Environmental Water Portfolio 5 Drought Planning 9 Is the Victorian Model Successful? 10 Are California’s Challenges Comparable? 12 Four Key Lessons for California 15 Lesson 1: Planning Matters 15 Lesson 2: State and Federal Partnerships Are Essential 16 Lesson 3: A Water Right for the Environment 16 Lesson 4: The Environment as an Equal Priority 17 Conclusion 19 References 20 About the Authors 21 Acknowledgements 22 Technical appendices to this paper are available on the PPIC website. Over the past 30 years the Australian state of Victoria developed innovative approaches to planning and setting priorities for environmental water, along with new tools to manage it. These sweeping reforms were in part a response to the Millennium Drought, a decade -long record dry spell that severely affected all water use in Victoria. California —currently in its fifth year of drought —has many similarities with Victoria, including significant challenges in managing the health of rivers and wetlands during times of extreme water scarcity. In this report, we examine the reforms enacted by Victoria and compare them to current environmental water management policies in California. This comparison highlights some key lessons learned by Victoria that may help guide how California adapt s environmental water management to address future droughts. The environmental policy reforms enacted by Victoria were difficult and at times highly controversial. While it will take years to fully understand whether these reforms had their intended effect , there is no doubt that the state’s new approach to managing environmental water avoided some serious biological losses during the drought. Additionally, it is clear that the state is much better prepared for the next drought. Four general lessons could be of high value to California: Better planning prior to droughts can improve drought resilience of native species and reduce conflicts. Strong federal -state p artnerships— involving both policies and funding —are vital to reducing drought impacts. Granting the environment a water right that can be traded improves flexibility in environmental water management during drought. Integrating the environment as an equal priority to other water uses improves drought preparation and response. Much more needs to be done to improve the drought resilience of California’s freshwater ecosystems. The efforts of Victoria can offer a useful guide in this effort. SUMMARY CONTENTS PPIC.ORG/WATER Managing Water for the Environment During Drought 4 Introduction From 1997- 2010, Australia endured the driest period in its recorded history. Known as the “Mi llennium Drought ,” it tested the country’s water management systems and caused an unprecedented restriction of supplies for cities and farms as well as cuts in water needed to support the environment (van Dijk et al. 2013). Australia’s response to this drought —involving major reforms in water policy, new planning approaches , and development of extensive new infrastructure—is often held up as a model for managing periodic droughts in California (Patterson 2015). When looking at Australia as an example, most attention has been focused on how its water managers allocated supplies to meet urban and agricultural needs (Turner et al. 2016). However, there has been equally important innovation in prior itizing and delivering water for Australia’s environment during drought. California’s latest drought, with five consecutive years of dry and warm conditions, has left no sector untouched (Hanak et al. 2015, Mount et al. 2015a) . 1 California’s rivers and wetlands have been hit particularly hard. State and federal fish and wildlife managers have struggled to prevent extinction of many native fishes, including most of the state’s runs of salmon. They have also had to make tough choices about allocations of wate r for managed wetlands that are vital to migratory waterbirds of the Pacific Flyway. The difficulties faced by environmental managers in Australia during the height of the Millennium Drought are similar to those currently facing California. O ver the past 30 years the Australian state of Victoria (Figure 1) , along with the federal government ( called the Commonwealth), developed innovative approaches to planning and setting priorities for environmental water, along with new tools to manage it. Many of these efforts improved transparency and reduced conflict, which increas ed management effectiveness. Implementation of these policies and approaches was not easy, but they left Victoria significantly better prepared for the next drought. In this report, we exami ne Victoria’s response to extreme drought, focusing on the development of policies for managing environmental water . We compare these policies to those of California. This comparison highlights some key lessons learned by Victoria that may help guide how C alifornia adapts environmental water management to address future droughts . Two technical appendices supplement this report. Appendix A is a comprehensive review of environmental water management in Victoria. Appendix B summarizes the laws governing the allocation of water in Victoria and California. 1 At the time of this writing (spring 2016) northern California had received near -average precipitation during water year 2015- 16, while southern California remains dry. A gubernatorial emergency drought declaration remains in effect. PPIC.ORG/WATER Managing Water for the Environment During Drought 5 Victoria’s Approach to Environmental Drought Management Drought is common in both Victoria and California. Since statehood, both states have developed a system of institutions, laws and infrastructure to manage episodic water scarcity. Victoria, like California today, recently endured the most severe drought in its recorded history, including 10 consecutive years of dry conditions. For both states, severe drought revealed strengths and weaknesses in water planning and drought management, particularly in efforts to reduce harm to freshwater ecosystems. It is useful for California to examine how Victoria’s drought manag ement changed, including reforms that occurred before the drought that set the stage for a more comprehensive overhaul . Before the Millennium Drought, the Commonwealth and the five states of the Murray -Darling Basin (MDB) undertook substantial reform of t heir water allocation laws and institutions. These reforms were a response to decreasing water supply reliability, a decline in environmental conditions, and a shift in national policy toward sustainable water management. These changes were embodied in the Victorian Water Act of 1989 ( see Technical Appendix B ). The Millennium Drought tested these early reforms as consecutive years of record dryness led to unprecedented reductions in available supplies. The environmental effects of drought were vast, reducing riparian, floodplain, wetland , and lak e species, including iconic trees, such as the river red gum, and many species of birds and fish (van Djik et al . 2013, Ellis et al. 2013). Due to water and land management activities before the drought, many of these species had already experienced significant population declines. The drought, with exceptionally dry and warm conditions and competing demands for scarce water, eliminated the ri ver flows needed to support these species, increasing the risk of extinction. At the height of the Millennium Drought, Victoria implemented a series of policies and subsequent amendments to the Water Act (V ictoria DELWP 2016). These amendments enhanced t he capacity of Victoria, in partnership with the Commonwealth, to more effectively manage limited supplies for the environment and balance uses for cities and farms with water for ecosystems. Here we focus on two main reforms in Victoria’s environmental w ater management that provide the most pertinent lessons for California: building and managing an environmental water portfolio, and drought planning and priority setting. The Environmental Water Portfolio The landmark Water Act of 1989 restructured Victoria’s water rights system and significantly enhanced the protection of fish, wildlife, and wetlands within the new “ water entitlement” structure. The act recognized that the environment is a lawful user of water with right s that are equal in stature to those that support other uses, such as municipal water supply and irrigation (see Technical Appendix B ). Since that time, the state, in partnership with the Commonwealth and through several amendments to the original act, has built a water portfolio that it can use to meet environmental objectives. Victoria has authority under the a ct to allocate surface and groundwater through a set of water entitlements and shares that allow for th e storage and distribution of water for municipal, agricultural, and environmental uses. The Victorian Environmental Water Reserve ( VEWR) is the principal means by which Victoria allocates water to meet environmental objectives. VEWR assets that are critical for drought management include “ planned PPIC.ORG/WATER Managing Water for the Environment During Drought 6 environmental water ” and “ held environmental water .”2 (See Figure 2 for an illustration of t he timing of use of these assets. ) The VEWR program is funded through a volume -based environmental fee charged to agricultural and urban water users. These monies are for sustainable water use projects as well as projects that reduce the environmental impacts of water use. A portion of these fees help cover the costs of the VEWR program, including administration, moni toring, scientific support for management, purchasing water shares , and managing habitat. 3 A relatively small amount of revenue also comes from leasing environmental water to other users. In addition, during and after the Millennium Drought, the Commonweal th provided more than AU$3 billion (around US$2.3 billion at current exchange rates) for the purchase of environmental entitlements (i.e., water rights for the environment) to support environmental objectives throughout the MDB. The se purchases have grown substantially since the end of the Millennium Drought, exceeding more than two million acre-feet today . 4 Planned Environmental Water The Water Act of 1989 set minimum flow requirements in all of Victoria’s major river basins for different hydrologic conditions . These standards require that “planned environmental water” (also called “passing flows”) remain s in rivers to fulfill a range of objectives , including providing environmental protection and water supply for downstream users. A portion of the water retained in storage for urban and agricultural uses is set aside to meet these minimum flow requirements. This water must be released from storage or provided at a specific place on a river. In rivers without reservoir storage, planned environmental water is created by limiting the timing and amount of surface diversions (see text box). During severe drought, planned environmental water can be reduced to ensure that critical water supply needs are met, usually for urban users. The reduction in planned environmental water is referred to as a “qualification of rights .” The Victorian Minister of Water has authority to temporarily change planned environmental water requirements. In order to qualify a right, the m inister will sometimes require mitigation measures, including payments to the Ministry to help compensate for harm to the environment (see Technical Appendix A ). Held Environmental Water In 2005, Victoria amended its Water Act to expressly recognize environmental water entitlements (or rights).5 In basins regulated by reservoirs, this “held environmental water” is reserved for environmental purposes. In 2010 Victoria again amended the act to establish the Victorian Environmental Water Holder with the authority to manage all held environmental water , planned environmental water, and water acquired through temporary trades (V ictorian EWH 2016) . 6 The VEWH has considerable discretion to determine how, where , and when water from environmental entitlements can be used. For example, it can choose to augment planned environmental water using held environmental water to achieve environmental objectives. Releases of held water may be used to mimic the natural rise and fall of rivers (see text b ox), to improve water quality or flow for specific river reaches or wetlands , and even to shift water between watersheds in highly connected water systems. In addition, the 2 In addition, in most watersheds the Victorian w ater minister has set a cap on uses of water. During wet periods, flows that occur above this cap—often flood flows — are also considered to be part of the Victorian Environmental Water Reserve (see Technical Appendix B ). 3 The amount of money available through these fees varies from year to year, but is approximately AU$100m annually (see summary in 2014 audit by the Victorian Auditor -General). 4 The amount of water held as entitlements is summarized by the Australian Government, Department of the Environment. 5 In June 2004, the Victorian government released the “ Our Water Our Future ” action plan. An important component of this plan was establishing Environmental Water Reserves. The Victorian g overnment then passed the Water (Res ource Management) Act of 2005 to amend the Water Act of 1989. From 2006, the act legally recogni zes the Environmental Water Reserve as the legal share of water for the environment in all Victorian rivers, streams , and groundwater systems. 6 The Australian Commonwealth, which administers the Murray -Darling Basin Plan, also has a large environmental water portfolio managed by the Commonwealth Environmental Water Holder (CEWH) and the Living Murray Program. The CEWH works closely with the VEHW to plan and allocate environmental water. PPIC.ORG/WATER Managing Water for the Environment During Drought 7 VEHW can decide how much water to use in one year and how much to carry over in storage for release the next year. The VEWH can even decide to trade environmental water to other users . The amount of water received by any Victorian water entitlement holder , including the environment, is based on water availability. All entitlements are made up of “water shares, ” which prescribe how much an entitlement holder will receive during reduced allocations. There are two classes of water shares: high -reliability shares that are pri ncipally used for high- revenue perennial crops, and low -reliability shares that usually are only available in wetter years. Currently, the environment holds approximately 26 percent of the high -reliability shares of water in Victoria (V ictoria DELWP 2016) . 7 During drought, low-reliability shares are allocated no water, and all high - reliability shares are reduced by an equal percentage. Thus, high -reliability shares of environmental water are treated the same as high -reliability shares for municipal and irrigation uses. Management of the environmental water portfolio depends heavily on a functional, well -regulated water market. During the Millennium Drought, m uch of the initial growth of the environmental water portfolio managed by the VEHW was acquired thro ugh investments in water efficiencies. This involved making investments such as lining of irrigation canals and installation of efficient irrigation technology and purchasing water saved for the environment (Commonwealth of Australia, 2014). The volume of new water made available proved insufficient to meet environmental objectives. In recent years, the Commonwealth has purchased a significant volume of irrigation entitlements for the environment on the water market . 8 These are managed jointly with those of the VEWH. The purchase of large volumes of irrigation entitlements caused significant controversy in the MDB for many reasons, including concerns about third-party impacts on towns and regional communities, future water prices , and financial instability for irrigators and irrigation enterprises (Commonwealth of Australia 2016) . 9 In 2014–15, the VEWH accounted for roughly half of all water traded in Victoria . M ost of these trades were between different sources of held environmental wa ter, including water held by the Commonwealth, and were undertaken to move environmental water across different parts of the water system . 10 Because of its large ownership of water and involvement in water trading, the VEWH is viewed as an important and equal partner in the water entitlement system. 7 Melbourne, the largest city in Victoria, has its own separate water system that it operates independently and is not regulate d in the same way as other water-right holders. 8 As of March 2016 , the Commonwealth had purchased 345,000 acre -feet of high- reliability water entitlements and 18,000 acre -feet of low- reliability entitlements. 9 Before its closure in 2014, the Australian National Water Commission conducted regular assessments of the social, economic and environmental impacts of water tr ading, including the purchase of irrigation entitlements for the environment. The last audit demonstrated local third -party impacts associated with entitlement purchases, but that overall economic and social impacts were relatively small (National Water Commission, 2012). 10 Water trading is supported by the Victorian Water Register, a state-sponsored source for comprehensive information about water availability and use, water rights, prices and trade opportu nities. Urban areas have limited access to this market, with trades principally for environmental and agricultural uses. PPIC.ORG/WATER Managing Water for the Environment During Drought 8 Releasing Water from Storage to Meet Multiple Needs Water stored in Victoria’s reservoirs is managed to meet urban, agricultural, and environmental demands. The Victorian Environmental Water Holder, working with catchment managers, times its release of held environmental water (i.e., stored water belonging to the environment) to improve water quality and river or floodplain habitat. The hydrograph below illustrates how the natural flow of the river (ideal for native species) is changed by both water storage in winter and water releases and use in summer. There are three types of water releases from reservoirs: Planned environmental water to maintain minimum water quality and to keep water flowing in rivers so that releases will make it to downstream users (this is to offset high losses of water due to seepage and evaporation); Water for urban and agricultural uses (this can cause rivers to flow higher than they naturally would in the dry season), and Held environmental water to meet env ironmental objectives, such as pulse flows that can support riparian and floodplain vegetation or give fish migration and spawning cues. FIGURE 2 Timing of environmental flow releases PPIC.ORG/WATER Managing Water for the Environment During Drought 9 Drought Planning T he Millennium Drought revealed significant weak nesses in preparation for managing the environmental effects of extreme water scarcity (Bond, Lake and Arthington 2008) , including insufficient technical support for decision making about water allocations. Although the Millennium Drought matched the magni tude and intensity of droughts predicted for the future under climate change , there had been limited scenario testing of response options or agreed -upon priorities for allocation of water ( CSIRO 2014) . In essence, as in California during its current drought, Victoria ’s water managers were forced to make reactive, ad hoc, and often controversial environmental management decisions. Victoria’s environmental managers also faced the need for a more transparent decision -making framework. The VEWH controls significant water assets worth hundreds of millions of dollars, and the Commonwealth has water assets worth billions. They were, appropriately, subject to intense public scrutiny for their actions during drought and needed to demonstrate that they were using these assets in way s that created the best return on investment. During the latter stages of the Millennium Drought , Victoria significantly reform ed its approach to drought preparation and planning. Today, the most important planning efforts are : the Regional Sustainable Water Strategies (undertaken every 10 years) , which determine whether there is sufficient water provided for the environment as planned and/or held environmental water ; the Regional Waterway Management Strategies (unde rtaken every eight years) , which set long-term objectives and targets for the environmental condition of rivers and wetlands ; and the Seasonal Watering Plan (undertaken annually), which guides annual environmental water use to achieve the long -term objecti ves and targets for environmental conditions (Victoria DELWP 2016). 11 The latter is developed by the VEWH with extensive stakeholder input, which increases buy -in and reduces conflicts. Setting Priorities One of the biggest challenges during the Millennium Drought was prioritizing allocations of environmental water when there simply was not enough to meet basic objectives. Normally, the VEWH aims to achieve the greatest environmental benefit for the volume of water applied and has criteria to guide decision making. There are six criteria that environmental water managers, with input from scientists and stakeholder groups, consider in setting priorities for watering actions :  Extent and significance of expected benefit,  Certainty of achieving the benefit ,  Ability to provide benefits over the long -term ,  Implications of not undertaking watering actions ,  Feasibility , and  Overall cost -effectiveness. By systematically evaluating these six criteria, environmental water managers are better able to justify their ch oices for the allocation and use of environmental water to the public, which in turn reduces controversy. These criteria also help organize the development of scientific and technical support for decision making. I n the depths of the Millennium Drought , however, the situation was so dire that the “greatest environmental benefit” actually became “the avoidance of the greatest environmental loss.” It was clear that the framework for 11 To describe the condition of rivers and wetlands, the Victorian Department of Environment and Primary Industries uses an Index of Stream Condition and an Index of Wetland Condition . Targets are set for improvement in these indexes. The last systematic update of these conditions was in 2010. PPIC.ORG/WATER Managing Water for the Environment During Drought 10 decision making would need to be expanded to account for variability in conditions. As a result, environmental water managers now use a seasonally adaptive approach —described within the Seasonal Watering Plan —that sets differing environmental watering objectives depending on hydrologic conditions (Figure 3). A change in objectives in turn causes changes in the volume, location, and timing of water allocated to environmental uses. Water managers conduct extensive scenario testing to evaluate the consequences of these choices. In addition, environmental water managers have the flexib ility to adjust operations depending upon unanticipated meteorological conditions, such as rainfall events and heat waves. Since these adjustments are scenario-tested in advance, this process creates greater certainty for all water users. FIGURE 3 Examples of environmental watering objectives under different planning scenarios SOURCE: Victorian Environmental Water Holder, 2015. Seasonal Waterin g Plan 2015-16: Introduction. NOTE: The Seasonal Watering Plan sets objectives based on the amount of precipitation and the amount in storage. This allows for changing priorities that match changes in conditions. It is important to note that priority setting is guided, but not bound, by national endangered species recovery objectives. This approach allows environmental managers to take a more ecosystem -based approach to envir onmental watering , focusing on maintaining ecosystem functions in critical locati ons that might serve a broad range of species . But it does not mean that species at imminent risk are simply allowed to go extinct. Indeed, as shown in Figure 3, the main objectives of the drought -planning scenario are prevention of species loss, maintenan ce of key refuges, and avoidance of catastrophic events. During extreme droughts, this clear set of priorities allows environmental managers to recognize the trade -offs involve d in reducing water for one environmental objective to meet a higher -priority en vironmental objective. Is the Victorian Model Successful? M anagement of environmental water in Victoria has undergone significant change over the past 30 years as policy moved from providing only basic minimum flows to the acquisition of a significant and valuable portfolio of water rights requiring active management. Some of the most important—and controversial—changes occurred in 2006- 10, as a response to the Millennium Drought. Most of the current wat er management tools were developed during this period as well. Although Victoria uses multiple monitoring and assessment programs to test PPIC.ORG/WATER Managing Water for the Environment During Drought 11 management effectiveness ( see Technical Ap pendix A), substantive, measureable changes in environmental conditions —the ultimate test of these programs—may take decades to be realized. For this reason, it is premature to conclude that this approach is biologically successful over the long term. However, there is no doubt that its adoption avoided some serious biological losses during the drought (van Dijk et al. 2013). A doption of these management practices meant that environmental water managers had a robust and transparent policy framework for maki ng decisions on the use of environmental water under all climatic conditions. I t also was a policy approach that ma de sense to the community of agricultural and urban water users . Seasonally adaptive planning made it clear that , in times of drought when everybody is making hard water and land use decisions, environment al water managers also must make some very difficult trade -offs. The result ing changes in environmental watering priorities paralleled similar decision frameworks that irrigator s were using in their businesses and that municipal water authorities were using in setting restriction policies. In addition, the changes took into account how Australian freshwater ecosystems operate in a variable climate. In a period of extreme water scarcity , when a high level of community angst and political pressure might have clouded decisions about water allocation , this approach provided sensible answers in a number of controversial areas. It may not have fully reconciled the community to the need to provide more water for the environment , but it did significantly improve the “social license” for environmental water managers to operate with the entitlements that they had been granted. From an environmental management perspective, the Millennium Drought showed very clearly that , while there will always be scientific knowledge gaps and technical challenges, the key is to ensure that there is community understanding and therefore political support for the approaches taken. Without this, the social license to operate can quickly disappear , making both short-term management and long-term policy changes much more dif ficult to achieve. PPIC.ORG/WATER Managing Water for the Environment During Drought 12 Are California’s Challenges Comparable? We consider two questions in light of our research into Victoria’s drought challenges: Are the two states sufficiently alike that the Australian experience is relevant to California ? And are their differences likely to require different approaches to management and m anagement institutions? Both Victoria and California have climates that are semi -arid with cool, wet winters and dry , warm summers ideal for growing crops . Agriculture accounts for about 80 percent of the use of developed water resources in both states, with municipal and industrial supply accounting for the remaining 20 percent . 12 Both states also have highly variable precipitation with multi- year droughts that require major investments in water supply infrastructure , and each is experiencing rising temperatures. As shown in Figure 4, these similarities are most visible in comparisons of the Murray -Darling Basin and California’s Central Valley. FIGURE 4 California and Australia have both experienced multi -year droughts and rising temperatures SOURCE: Australian Bureau of Meteorology (precipitation and temperature), N ational Oceanic and A tmospheric Administration (California temperature), DWR (California precipitation) NOTE: Diagram depicts precipitation and temperature departures from average for the MDB and California’s Central Valley since 1950. Note that the magnitude of precipitatio n deficits in California are greater than those experienced during the Millennium Drought. 12 Based on water data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics and the California Department of Water Resources (DWR). PPIC.ORG/WATER Managing Water for the Environment During Drought 13 Both states also face similar challenges in managing freshwater -dependent ecosystems and native species. Dramatic changes over the past 150 years have altered habi tat quality for native plants and animals. These changes include extensive conversion of land (usually for agriculture ), dramatic alteration of the timing and quantity of flow, disconnection of river landscapes by dams and diversions, reduction of water quality, and the introduction of numerous non- native species that have proved well-adapted to these changes. These changes have led to long- term declines in freshwater -dependent native species and to the potential for numerous extinctions (Moyle et al. 2015, Pratchett, et al. 2011). And both states experience intense controversy over the proper balanc e between water allocations to meet environmental needs and water service for agricultural and urban uses. These strong similarities indicate that the environmental drought management tools developed by Victoria could be broadly applicable to California. There are, however, some important differences in climate and biology that may affect the way these tools could be used . These include:  Duration of drou ght: California’s current drought came on the heels of a very wet year and is entering its fifth year. Victoria experienced sustained drought from 1997–2009 , with 10 consecutive dry years from 2000–2009. The social, economic, and environmental cost s associ ated with this level of dryness were a great impetus for change (van Djik et al. 2013). It is possible that California has not yet “suffered enough” to motivate major reforms.  Differences in snowpack storage: Snowpack in California is a critical part of a nnual storage, but makes up only a small portion of supply in Victoria. S nowpack is a highly vulnerable source of storage during droughts, and is also likely to diminish as a result of climate warming.  Role of groundwater : California has large groundwater reserves for drought management (up to 60% of supply during drought years versus 30% in average years), whereas northern Victoria has limited useable groundwater supplies (less than 20% of annual supply) due to high salinit y. The large groundwater reserves in California —if managed well —improve resilience to extended droughts when surface water reserves are drawn down. Switching to groundwater during drought can reduce pressure on surface water supplies that may be needed for environmental management. Additionally, groundwater stored during wet periods can be used for environmental purposes , such as managed wetlands, or for trading.  Differences in surface storage: In Victoria, surface storage relative to annual water use is t wice the level of storage in California. 13 This increases flexibility in Victoria’s management of environmental water. However, the high dependence on surface storage —rather than a combination of surface storage and large groundwater reserves —increases vulnerability during extended, multi -year drought s.  Targets of conservation : Victoria’s drought conservation efforts seek to improve habitat conditions for aquatic species, such as fish and platypus, as well as lowland riparian and floodplain plants and anima ls that rely on seasonal flooding . 14 In California, the focus of water management during drought is on maintaining habitat for threatened and endangered river and estuarine fishes. Additionally, most of the managed wetlands of the Central Valley, for exampl e, are not connected to rivers, but can be served through irrigation canals.  Different species of concern : Many of the at -risk Victorian species (such as the Murray Hardyhead and river red gums) have genetically diverse, distributed populations that allow for prioritization of 13 These and other comparison s in this section are based on statistics provided by the Victorian Department of Environment and Primary Industries and the California Department of Water Resources. 14 During the Millennium Drought, environmental managers found creative ways to deliver water to floodplain and riparian habitat without major pulse flows. This included use of earthen levees to channel flows onto floodplains as well as the use of large pumps. PPIC.ORG/WATER Managing Water for the Environment During Drought 14 conservation efforts and serve as sources for re- colonization if local extinction occurs (Davies et al. 2008, Ellis et al. 2013). Several California species, such as Delta smelt and winter -r un Chinook salmon, have narrow geographic ranges and single populations, with limited potential for natural repopulation following local extinction (Moyle et al. 2015). These differences are modest but important when considering lessons for California’s environmental management . However, the management tools developed in Victoria to address the specific needs of the Murray - Darling Basin are not overly specialized and therefore could be broadly applicable to California. PPIC.ORG/WATER Managing Water for the Environment During Drought 15 Four Key Lessons f or California The Victorian institutions that have evolved to address environmental water management are, like the climate and biology of their state, quite similar to California. Water in both states is a public -trust resource to be managed by the state for beneficial us es, including environmental health. State and federal agencies develop environmental objectives, set and enforce regulatory standards, manage water rights and environmental water, and develop scientific support for decision making (see Technical Appendi ces A and B). In principle, the objectives and institutions of the two states are broadly the same. In practice, however, there are significant differences. W e highlight four key lessons that can inform potential reforms for California as it grapples with ways to improve environmental water management and conserve native species. Lesson 1: Planning Matters The Millennium Drought changed how Victoria prepares for and responds to drought. Victoria’s multiple planning process es now address three key requirements for drought management:  P re -drought efforts to improve species’ population resilienc e;  W ater allocation priorities to reduce harm during drought (including emer gency responses), and  A ctions to recover species following drought. The robust planning framework that Victoria developed —including scenario testing to anticipate actions during drought —is arguably the most important policy innovation to emerge from the Millennium Drought. California does not have biodiversity plans that specifically address species ’ drought resilienc e, response and recovery (Hanak et al. 2015). Although the state has made great progress in monitoring at -risk species during the latest d rought and has developed long- range plans to improve the resilience of a few species , it relies principally on reactive prioritization and decision making during drought emergencies. 15 Additionally, one of the key lessons of the Millennium Drought was the value of developing community understanding of approaches taken to manage environmental water , principally through the planning process. This was essential to building political support —or, at a minimum, reducing opposition —for potentially controversial actions . California invests heavily in stakeholder outreach and public hearings, as well as extensive (and often costly ) environmental documentation. However, with some notable exceptions (e.g., the recent negotiated Klamath dam removal agreements) , the state and federal government have been unable to match Victoria’s level of community understanding when it comes to environmental water management. This makes it difficult to take significant action in a timely manner. Given the scale and complexity of California’s challenges, i t is possible (though not certain) that more transparent and systematic planning based on the Victorian model may prove useful here. Key Takeaway : Improved environmental drought planning can strengthen t he drought resilience of native species and reduce conflict during drought. 15 The California Department of Fish and Wildlife is responsible for drought response to protect native species. An online summary of the agency’s Drought Response Projects reveals that most e fforts were on species rescues or monitoring actions. Relatively few involve plans to significantly improve drought resilienc e. PPIC.ORG/WATER Managing Water for the Environment During Drought 16 Lesson 2 : State and Federal Partnerships Are Essential Both California and Victoria manage water along with their respective federal governments. In Australia, the response of the Commonwealth to the Millennium Drought was substantial and transformative. This included reforming key federal laws to enable better management and making multi -billion dollar investments to purchase irrigation entitlements to improve environmental flows. Today, the Commonwealth is a key partner with Victoria in planning for drought, as well as in building and managing the environmental water portfolio. Recent federal investment in improving drought preparedness and response in California —beyond its existing water supply operations and regulatory roles —has been modest by comparison to Australia (Mount et al. 2016). There have been significant improvements in federal -state coordination, particularly during the drought emergency. But federal spending to e nhance environmental flows has been limited in scope , focused mainly on acquiring some temporary supplies for wetlands . During the latest drought, most federal activity has sought to improv e agricultural and urban supplies, including investments in water-use efficiency and multiple petitions to state regulators to relax environmental standards to allow for increased water diversions (Hanak et al. 2015 , Gray et al. 2015). C urrent federal drought legislation under consideration do es not address the environment. Key Takeaway: Federal support, through policies and funding, can make a major difference in improving environmental drought resilience and responding to drought emergencies. Lesson 3: A Water Right for the Environment Victoria and the Commonwealth explicitly recognize that the environment is a lawful user of water and entitled to a water right. Held environmental water —that portion of stored water granted to the environment under its entitlement —is critical to meeting environmental objectives during d rought. Held environmental water managed by an e nvironmental w ater holder can be flexibly allocated to meet objectives, including transfers between local watersheds and release of flows timed to meet biological needs. Managing and increasing the amount of held environmental water requires reliable funding (e.g., from a volumetric surcharge on water use ) and water trading (both short -term and long -term) . This trading is supported by a sophisticated, government -run registry that tracks water availability, price , and use. California also has water dedicated to environmental use s. For example, the federal Central Valley Project Improvement Act of 1992 requires the US Bureau of Reclamation to allocate 800,000 acre -feet of water to improve fisheries, water qua lity, and wetlands in the Sacramento-San Joaquin River and Delta watershed . 16 This environmental allocation was augmented for several years by an Environmental Water Account operated by the California Department of Water Resources that funded temporary water purchases for environmental needs . 17 California also has a small but growing number of water rights that have been permanently dedicated to improving instream flows (Szeptcki et al. 2015) . 18 Indeed, short- and long -term water trading is playing an 16 The total amount of water allocated annually varies, depending on water year type, with the legally mandated environmental allocation reduced to 600,000 in dry years (CVPIA 1992). Indeed, the actual amount of environmental water is sometimes much less. For example, in water year 2015, the Bureau of Reclamation released only 200,000 acre -feet for environmental uses. Moreover, in all types of water years, water initially allocated to the environment is then re -diverted downstream and used for agricultural and municipal supply (US Fish and Wildlife Service and US Bureau of Reclamation 2016). 17 There have been large-scale experiments in water trading to meet environmental needs. Most prominent of these was the CALFED Environmental Water Account (EWA). The CALFED 2000 Record of Decision established the EWA to reduce the impacts of Central Valley Project and State Water Project export p umping from the Sacramento and San Joaquin Delta (CALFED 2000). Temporary purchases of water from willing sellers were used either to supplem ent flows within the Delta or to find alternative sources for project users. The goal was to allocate environmental water above regulatory baseline flows to improve conditions for at-risk native fishes. The amount of water purchased for the en vironment declined after 2007. The last long-term acquisition was for 60,000 acre-feet per year from 2008 -15 from the Yuba Count y Water Agency under the Yuba Accord Water Purcha se Agreement. There are also ongoing efforts, such as those of the US Bureau of Reclamation to sell, recover, exchange , or bank water that is stored but not used for restoration of the San Joaquin River. The description of the management plan for these unreleased restoration f lows is described here. 18 The usefulness of these rights during drought depends on their volume and sen iority (Technical Appendix B ). PPIC.ORG/WATER Managing Water for the Environment During Drought 17 increasi ng role in environmental management , particularly in some small watersheds ( Hanak and Stryjewski 2014, SWIFT 2016). Finally, in 2014, Californians voted to allocate $200 million in Proposition 1 bond funds to enable the Wildlife Conservation Board to acqui re long-term supplies for the environment. Distribution of funds for these purchases is still in its earliest stages. These multiple efforts to secure and manage water for the environment in California suffer from several disadvantages in comparison to Victoria. First, water dedicated to the environment through regulatory processes cannot be managed as flexibly as environmental water rights. 19 Second, the total volume of environmental water trading is mo dest in size (Hanak and Stryje wski 2014 ; Hanak and Jezdimirovic 2016) ; and, due to funding constraints, tends to go down during drought when this water is most needed. Third, California has an inefficient water market that lacks a functional water registry —a tool that can facilitate and track trading (Gray et al. 2015). This greatly limits the ability to trade water for the environment, even if it is available. Fourth, California has no equivalent to the Victoria Environmental Water Holder to organize and m anage environmental water to meet planned objectives . 20 Finally, the environment is one of California’s long -standing “fiscal orphans,” with no reliable source of funding beyond periodic infusions of bond funds (Hanak et al. 2014). Key Takeaway: Granting the environment a high- priority water right (or its equivalent) —supported by a robust water market and reliably funded, coordinated management —can help reduce uncertainty and increase flexibility for environmental drought management . 21 Lesson 4: The Environment as an Equal Priority National and state level reforms in Australia before and during the Millennium Drought elevated the environment to the status of an equal priority with urban and agricultural uses. Planning efforts integrated the environment into all aspects of water management, setting broad objectives for maintaining healthy ecosystems and preparing for , and responding to, drought. The environment was granted a water right, giving the Victoria Environmental Water Holder and other environmental water managers the resources to build and manage an extensive water portfolio. In this way, the environment became a key stakeholder in water management with an equal “seat at the table” in negotiations , while also becoming a partner in constructing solutions. Moreover, the structure of this right— i.e., with cuts shared equally among holders of high priority shares , including the environment—reduced the perception that the burdens of drought were not shared equally. California has made important strides on integrating the environment into its water planning and operations. Negotiated agreements , such as the Lower Yuba River Accord, have shown promise in improving the allocation of water for environmental purposes (especially during droug ht), while still meeting demands of other water users. 22 More generally, the Delta Reform Act of 2009 made it state policy to manage and allocate the waters of the Sacramento -San Joaquin and Delta ecosystem for the “co -equal” goals of water supply reliabili ty and ecosystem health . 23 19 For instance, during the latest drought, it would have been helpful if water allocated to wildlife refuges under the CVPIA could have been traded, to help get limited supplies to places along the Pacific Flyway where water was most needed. 20 T he exception may be environmental water trusts in small catchments that assume this role (SWIFT 2016) . 21 The concept of an “Environmental Water Budget” for Cali fornia that functions like Victorian held environmental water is explored in Gray et al. (2015). 22 The Lower Yuba River Accord is a negotiated settlement between diverse agricultural, urban and environmental interests as well as state and federal regulators. It relies on integrated management of surface water and groundwater to improve environmental conditions in the Yuba River and in the Delta, meet local and regional water supplies, and manage flood r isk. 23 According to the California Water Code §85054, "Coequal goals means the two goals of providing a more reliable water supply f or California and protecting, restoring, and enhancing the Delta ecosystem. The coequal goals shall be achieved in a manner that protects and enhances the unique cultural, recreational, natural resource, and agricultural values of the Delta as an evolving place." PPIC.ORG/WATER Managing Water for the Environment During Drought 18 Yet d espite these advances in policy, environmental objectives remain principally focused on meeting minimum regulatory requirements under the state and federal water quality and endangered species laws, rather than to improve overall environmental conditions (Hanak et al. 2011). Conceptually, t his approach may be more protective of at -risk native species than th e more flexible, ecosystem -based approach taken by Victoria , because it makes avoidance of extinction the highest environmental priority. 24 But it also creates the perception that the environment is simply a constraint, rather than an integrated priority in water management. 25 Key Takeaway: Fully integrating the environment into water management —including defining environmental protection and restoration as a priority and allocating resources to environmental watering— can improve drought resilience and decre ase controversy. 24 In California, both federal and state Endangered Species Acts prohibit the unauthorized taking of listed species , and the federal law precludes any federal (or federally authorized or funded) action that would place a protected species in jeopardy of extinction or adversely modify its critical habitat. Although Victoria has a strong policy of avoiding risk of extinc tion and of causing harm to endangered species during drought, nothing in state or national law categorically prohibits takin g of, or jeopardy to, such species ( Technical Appendix B). 25 This perception that the environment is a burden on efforts to maximize urban and agricultural uses of water is not unique to California. It is ingrained in the approach to western US water policy in general and is part of federal water policy that seeks to “wring as much water from the system without breaking laws” (Mount et al. 2016). PPIC.ORG/WATER Managing Water for the Environment During Drought 19 Conclusion The state of Victoria, along with the Commonwealth of Australia , enacted sweeping reforms that improved the effectiveness and acceptance of allocation of water to the environment. California, now in its fifth year of drought and with similar biological, political, and social challenges, can learn from Victoria’s policy reforms . F our general lessons from Victoria’s Millennium Drought experience are of value to California:  Planning for drought, rather than reacting to drought, can improve environmental management and reduce conflict. California lacks reliable and acce pted environmental drought plans to protect native species, to build resilience during normal and wet years , and to set priorities during times of extreme scarcity.  Strong state and federal partnerships are vital to drought preparation and response. Although federal -state coordination and communication has improved, the federal government —despite its key responsibilities in regulating and providing water resources —has not played a significant role in anticipating or ameliorating the effects of drought on California's environment .  An environmental water right, as part of a flexibly managed portfolio of environmental water, can be effective in adapting to drought. Although California has some water allocated to the environment, the volumes are still relatively small and the supplies cannot be flexibly managed, limiting their impact. Efforts to acquire significant permanent supplies for e nvironmental uses have been limited by a lack of funding.  Treating environmental water as equal in status to that of other uses would help integrate environmental protection and enhancement into all phases of water management . This in turn would increase the responsiveness, flexibility, and effectiveness of California’s long -term “environmental watering” programs and better enable the state to achieve its policy of “co -equal” goals for water supply reliability and ecosystem health. One of the most distinc tive differences between California and Victoria is the comparative capacity for resolving conflict over environmental water. Although policy reforms during the Millennium Drought proved highly controversial and difficult to enact, Victorians managed to co mplete a suite of changes that have improved environmental water management and addressed key issues of drought preparation, drought response, and drought recovery . For whatever reason —social, legal, or political—Californians have found it difficult to tac kle this issue in a productive way. California has made some important advances in environmental water management during the current drought, including enacting historic legislation to reform groundwater management, developing new standards for environmental flows in a few basins, and allocating bond funds to purchase water rights for the environment. But much more needs to be done to improve drought resilience and to reduce conflict over environmental water allocations for future droughts . As California tackles these improvements, the planning and management adaptations developed by Victoria during the Millennium Drought can serve as a useful guide. PPIC.ORG/WATER Managing Water for the Environment During Drought 20 REFERENCES Central Valley Project Improvement Act. 1992. Pub. L. No. 102- 575, Title 34, 106 Stat. 4706, §§ 3401, 3406(b)(2). Commonwealth of Australia. 2015. Water Recovery Strategy for the Murray-Darling Basin . Commonwealth of Australia. 2016. Refreshing the Plan: Report of the Senate Committee on the Murray -Darling Basin Plan. CSIRO and Australian Bureau of Meteorology . 2014. State of the Climate 2014. Davies, P eter, John Harris, T erry Hillman, and K eith Walker. 2008. A Report on the Ecological Health of Rivers in the Murray -Darling Basin 2004 –2007 . Independent Sustainable Rivers Audit Group for the Murray -Darling Basin Commission, Canberra. Ellis, I ain D aniel Stoessel, M ichael Hammer, S cotte Wedderburn, L ara Suitor, and A rkellah Hall. 2013. “ Conservation of an I nauspicious E ndangered Freshwater Fish, Murray Hardyhead ( Craterocephalus fluviatilis) , D uring D rought and Competing Water Demands in the Murray -Darling Basin, Australia. ” Marine and Freshwater Research. 64 (9):792 -806. Gray, B rian, Ellen Hanak, Richard Frank, Richard Howitt, Jay Lund, Leon Szeptycki, and Barton “Buzz” Thompson. 2015. Allocating California’s Water: D irections for Reform. Public Policy Institute of California. Hanak, Ellen and Jelena Jezdimirovic. 2016. “State Water Market Needs Reform.” PPIC Blog. February 2. Hanak, Ellen and E lizabeth Stryje wski. 2012. California’s Water Market, By the Numbers, Update 2012. Public Policy Institute of California. Hanak, E llen, Brian Gray, J ay Lund, D avid Mitchell, C aitrin Chappelle, A ndrew Fahlund, K atrina Jessoe, J osué Medell ín -Azuara, D ean Misczynski, James N achbaur, and R obyn Suddeth. 2014. Paying for Water in California . Public Policy Institute of California. Hanak, E llen, Jeffrey Mount, C aitrin Chappelle, J ay Lund, Josué Medellín -Azuara, Peter Moyle, and Nathaniel Seavy . 2015. W hat I f California’s Drought Continues? Public Policy Institute of California. Mount, J effrey, E llen Hanak, C aitrin Chappelle, B rian Gray, P eter Moyle, B arton “Buzz” Thompson, Jay Lund. 2015a. Policy Priorities for Managing Drought . Public Policy Institute of California. Mount, J effrey, Ellen Hanak, J ay Lund, J ohn Eadie, B rian Gray, P eter Moyle, N athaniel Seavy, L eon Szeptycki, and J oshua Viers. 2015b. “ California’s Water: Water for the Environmen t.” Public Policy Institute of California. Mount, J effrey, Ellen Hanak, C aitrin Chappelle, B onnie Colby, R ichard Frank, G reg Gartrell, B rian Gray, D ouglas Kenney, J ay Lund, P eter Moyle, and L eon Szeptycki. 2016. Improving the Federal Response to Western Drought: Five Areas for Reform . Public Policy Institute of California. Moyle, P eter, Rebecca Quiñones, J acob Katz, and Jeff Weaver. 2015. Fish Species of Special Concern in California. California Department of Fish and Wildlife. Sacramento National Water Commission of Australia. 2012. Impacts of Water Trading in the Southern Murray -Darling Basin, B etween 2006-7 and 2010-11. Patterson, B rittany. 2015. “What Austral ia Can Teach the W orld about S urviving Drought: Melbourne H olds Lessons for the US Southwest and Other Places Struggling with a L ack of Precipitation .” Scientific American ClimateWire. Pratchett, M. S., Bay, L. K., Gehrke , P. C., Koehn, J. D., Osborne, K., Pressey, R. L., Sweatman, H. P. A., and Wachenfeld, D. 2011. “ Contribution of Climate Change to Degradation a nd Loss of Critical Fish Habitats in Australian Marine and Freshwater Environments .” Marine and Freshwater Rese arch. 62: 1062 –1081 Szeptycki, Leon, Julia Forgie, Elizabeth Hook, Kori Lorick, and Philip Womble. 2015. Environmental Water Transfers: A Review of State Laws. Stanford Woods Institute. Small Watershed Instream Flow Transfers (SWIFT) Working Group. 2016. A Practitioner’s Guide to Instream Flow Transactions in California. Turner, A ndrea, Stuart White, J oanne Chong, M ary Ann Dickinson, H eather Cooley and K ristina Donnelly. 2016. Managing Drought : L earning from Australia . Prepared by the Alliance for Water Efficiency, the Institute for Sustainable Futures, University of Technology Sydney , and the Pacific Institute. US Fish and Wildlife Service and US Bureau of Reclamation. 2016. Water Year 2015 Final Accounting. Fishery and Water Quality Control Plan Actions. van Dijk , A lbert, Hylke Beck, Russel Crosbie, Richard de Jeu, Yi Liu, Geoff Podger, Bertrand Timbal, and Neil Viney. 2013. “The Millennium Drought in Southeast Australia (2001– 2009): Natural and Human Causes and Implications for W ater Resources, E cosystems, Economy , and Society.” Water Resource Research . 49 (2):1040 -1057 Victoria DELWP ( Department of Envir onment, Land, Water and Planning ). 2016. Water . Victorian EWH (Environmental Water Holder ). 2016. Managing Victoria’s Environmental Water Entitlements and Allocations . PPIC.ORG/WATER Managing Water for the Environment During Drought 21 ABOUT THE AUTHOR S Jeffrey Mount is a senior fellow at the PPIC Water Policy Center . He is an emeritus professor at UC Davis in the Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences and founding director of the Center for Watershed Sciences. A geomorphologist who specializes in the study of rivers, streams, and wetlands, his research focuses on i ntegrated water resource management, flood management, and improving aquatic ecosystem health. He has served on many state and federal boards and commissions that address water resource management issues in the West. He has published more than a hundred ar ticles, books, and other publications, including the seminal book California Rivers and Streams (UC Press). He holds a PhD and MS in earth sciences from the University of California, Santa Cruz. Brian Gray is an adjunct fellow at the PPIC Water Policy Center and professor emeritus at the University of California, Hastings College of the Law in San Francisco. He has published numerous articles on environmental and water resources law and coauthored a variety of PPIC reports, including the 2011 interdisciplinary book on California water policy, Managing California’s Water: From Conflict to Reconciliation. He has argued before the California Supreme Court and the US Court of Appeals in cases involving wild and scenic rivers, water pricing reform, takings, and water rights and environmental quality. He is a recipient of the William Rutter Award for Excellence in Teaching and the UC Hastings Outstanding Professor Award. He holds a JD from the University of California, Berkeley, and a BA in economics from Pomona College. Caitrin Phillips Chappelle is associate director at the PPIC Water Policy Center, where she manages research and operations. Her own research focuses on natural resource management and California water policy. She has co -authored work on the statewide drought, funding ga ps in water management, and multiple ecosystem stressors in the Sacramento –San Joaquin Delta. Previously, she worked for the US Geological Survey. She holds an MPP from the Goldman School of Public Policy at the University of California, Berkeley , and a BS in ecology from California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo. Jane Doolan is a professorial fellow in natural resources governance at the University of Canberra, Australia, and the chair of the Murray -Darling Freshwater Research Centre. She h as extensive experience in sustainable water - resource management, providing policy advice to the Victorian government on issues such as urban and rural water supply and security, national water reform, water allocation and river and catchment management an d water sector governance. She has worked on key policy initiatives at the state and national levels in river health policy, environmental water allocation, institutional arrangements for catchment management, and the management of water during drought and climate change. She holds a PhD in zoology from the University of Melbourne. Ted Grantham i s an assistant cooperative extension specialist in the department of environmental science, policy, and management at the University of California, Berkeley, with a focus on freshwater ecology, stream hydrology, and climate risk assessment. He manages cooperative research projects through the Grantham Lab at UC Berkeley, which explores the relationships between hydrological and ecological processes in studies relevan t to the management of water resources. He holds a PhD in environmental science, policy, and management from UC Berkeley. Nathaniel Seavy is the research director of the Pacific Coast and Central Valley Group at Point Blue Conservation Science. His resear ch is focused on the ecology and conservation of riparian ecosystems, bird migration, understanding and preparing for the ecological effects of climate change, and applying science to conservation decision making and public policy. He has published more than 45 peer -reviewed scientific papers and book chapters in journals such as Ecological Applications, Journal of Wildlife Management, Biological Conservation, Conservation Biology, and PLoS ONE. He holds an MS and PhD in zoology from the University of Flori da. PPIC.ORG/WATER Managing Water for the Environment During Drought 22 ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS We thank Ellen Hanak for serving as lead reviewer, and Alvar Escriva -Bou, Kevin Hunting, Michael Jensz, and Michael Stewardson for very helpful reviews of an earlier draft. Lori Pottinger, Abby Cook, and Lynette Ubois provided expert editorial support. We alone are responsible for any remaining errors or omissions. This publication was developed with partial support from Assistance Agreement No. 83586701 awarded by the US Environmental Protection Agency to the Public Policy Institute of California. It has not been formally reviewed by EPA. The views expressed in this document are solely those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect those of the agency. EPA does not endorse any products or commercial services mentioned in this publication. PUBLIC POLICY INSTITUTE OF CALIFORNIA Board of Directors Donna Lucas, Chair Chief Executive Officer Lucas Public Affairs Mark Baldassare President and CEO Public Policy Institute of California Ruben Barrales President and CEO GROW Elect María Blanco Executive Director Undocumented Student Legal Services Center University of California Office of the President Louise Henry Bryson Chair Emerita, Board of Trustees J. Paul Getty Trust A. Marisa Chun Partner McDermott Will & Emery LLP Phil Isenberg Former Chair, Delta Stewardship Council Mas Masumoto Author and Farmer Steven A. Merksamer Senior Partner Nielsen, Merksamer, Parrinello, Gross & Leoni, LLP Gerald L. Parsky Chairman Aurora Capital Group Kim Polese Chairman ClearStreet, Inc. Gaddi H. Vasquez Senior Vice President Government Affairs Edison International Southern California Edison Frances Spivy-Weber, Chair Vice Chair State Water Resou rces Control Board Timothy Quinn, Vice Chair Executive Director Association of California Water Agencies Mark Baldassare President and CEO Public Policy Institute of California Celeste Cantú General Manager Santa Ana Watershed Project Authority Dave Cogdill President & CEO California Building Industry Association Lauren B. Dachs President and Vice Chair of the Board of Directors S. D. Bechtel, Jr. Foundation Daniel M. Dooley Principal New Current Water and Land, LLC Debbie Franco Community and Rural Affairs Advisor and Local Drought Liaison Governor’s Office of Planning and Research Phil Isenberg Former Chair Delta Stewardship Council Debra C. Man Assistant General Manager and Chief Operating Officer Metropolitan Water District of Southern California David Puglia Executive Vice President Western Growers Lester Snow Executive Director Water Foundation Mike Sweeney Executive Director The Nature Conservancy California Chapter PPIC WATER POLICY CENTER Advisory Council The Public Policy Institute of California is dedicated to informing and improving public policy in California through independent, objective, nonpartisan research. Public Policy Institute of California 500 Washington Street, Suite 600 San Francisco, CA 94111 T: 415.291.440 F: 415.291.4401 PPIC.ORG/WATER P PIC Sacramento Center Senator Office Building 1121 L Street, Suite 801 Sacramento, CA 95814 T: 916.440.1120 F: 916.440.1121" } ["___content":protected]=> string(102) "

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" ["_permalink":protected]=> string(124) "https://www.ppic.org/publication/managing-water-for-the-environment-during-drought-lessons-from-victoria-australia/r_616jmr/" ["_next":protected]=> array(0) { } ["_prev":protected]=> array(0) { } ["_css_class":protected]=> NULL ["id"]=> int(9016) ["ID"]=> int(9016) ["post_author"]=> string(1) "1" ["post_content"]=> string(0) "" ["post_date"]=> string(19) "2017-05-20 02:43:04" ["post_excerpt"]=> string(0) "" ["post_parent"]=> int(4561) ["post_status"]=> string(7) "inherit" ["post_title"]=> string(8) "R 616JMR" ["post_type"]=> string(10) "attachment" ["slug"]=> string(8) "r_616jmr" ["__type":protected]=> NULL ["_wp_attached_file"]=> string(12) "R_616JMR.pdf" ["wpmf_size"]=> string(6) "563661" ["wpmf_filetype"]=> string(3) "pdf" ["wpmf_order"]=> string(1) "0" ["searchwp_content"]=> string(66720) "PPIC WATER POLICY CENTER JUNE 2016 Jeffrey Mount, Brian Gray, Caitrin Chappelle, Jane Doolan, Theodore Grantham, Nathaniel Seavy with research support from Jelena Jezdimirovic Supported with funding from The David and Lucile Packard Foundation, the US Environmental Protection Agency, and the Water Foundation, an initiative of the Resources Legacy Fund Managing Water for the Environment During Drought Lessons from Victoria, Australia © 2016 Public Policy Institute of California PPIC is a public charity. It does not take or support positions on any ballot measures or on any local, state, or federal legislation, nor does it endorse, support, or oppose any political parties or candidates for public office. Short sections of text, not to exceed three paragraphs, may be quoted without written permission provided that full attribution is given to the source. Research publications reflect the views of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of the staff, officers, or board of directors of the Public Policy Institute of California. PPIC.ORG/WATER Managing Water for the Environment During Drought 3 Introduction 4 Victoria’s Approach to Environmental Drought Management 5 The Environmental Water Portfolio 5 Drought Planning 9 Is the Victorian Model Successful? 10 Are California’s Challenges Comparable? 12 Four Key Lessons for California 15 Lesson 1: Planning Matters 15 Lesson 2: State and Federal Partnerships Are Essential 16 Lesson 3: A Water Right for the Environment 16 Lesson 4: The Environment as an Equal Priority 17 Conclusion 19 References 20 About the Authors 21 Acknowledgements 22 Technical appendices to this paper are available on the PPIC website. Over the past 30 years the Australian state of Victoria developed innovative approaches to planning and setting priorities for environmental water, along with new tools to manage it. These sweeping reforms were in part a response to the Millennium Drought, a decade -long record dry spell that severely affected all water use in Victoria. California —currently in its fifth year of drought —has many similarities with Victoria, including significant challenges in managing the health of rivers and wetlands during times of extreme water scarcity. In this report, we examine the reforms enacted by Victoria and compare them to current environmental water management policies in California. This comparison highlights some key lessons learned by Victoria that may help guide how California adapt s environmental water management to address future droughts. The environmental policy reforms enacted by Victoria were difficult and at times highly controversial. While it will take years to fully understand whether these reforms had their intended effect , there is no doubt that the state’s new approach to managing environmental water avoided some serious biological losses during the drought. Additionally, it is clear that the state is much better prepared for the next drought. Four general lessons could be of high value to California: Better planning prior to droughts can improve drought resilience of native species and reduce conflicts. Strong federal -state p artnerships— involving both policies and funding —are vital to reducing drought impacts. Granting the environment a water right that can be traded improves flexibility in environmental water management during drought. Integrating the environment as an equal priority to other water uses improves drought preparation and response. Much more needs to be done to improve the drought resilience of California’s freshwater ecosystems. The efforts of Victoria can offer a useful guide in this effort. SUMMARY CONTENTS PPIC.ORG/WATER Managing Water for the Environment During Drought 4 Introduction From 1997- 2010, Australia endured the driest period in its recorded history. Known as the “Mi llennium Drought ,” it tested the country’s water management systems and caused an unprecedented restriction of supplies for cities and farms as well as cuts in water needed to support the environment (van Dijk et al. 2013). Australia’s response to this drought —involving major reforms in water policy, new planning approaches , and development of extensive new infrastructure—is often held up as a model for managing periodic droughts in California (Patterson 2015). When looking at Australia as an example, most attention has been focused on how its water managers allocated supplies to meet urban and agricultural needs (Turner et al. 2016). However, there has been equally important innovation in prior itizing and delivering water for Australia’s environment during drought. California’s latest drought, with five consecutive years of dry and warm conditions, has left no sector untouched (Hanak et al. 2015, Mount et al. 2015a) . 1 California’s rivers and wetlands have been hit particularly hard. State and federal fish and wildlife managers have struggled to prevent extinction of many native fishes, including most of the state’s runs of salmon. They have also had to make tough choices about allocations of wate r for managed wetlands that are vital to migratory waterbirds of the Pacific Flyway. The difficulties faced by environmental managers in Australia during the height of the Millennium Drought are similar to those currently facing California. O ver the past 30 years the Australian state of Victoria (Figure 1) , along with the federal government ( called the Commonwealth), developed innovative approaches to planning and setting priorities for environmental water, along with new tools to manage it. Many of these efforts improved transparency and reduced conflict, which increas ed management effectiveness. Implementation of these policies and approaches was not easy, but they left Victoria significantly better prepared for the next drought. In this report, we exami ne Victoria’s response to extreme drought, focusing on the development of policies for managing environmental water . We compare these policies to those of California. This comparison highlights some key lessons learned by Victoria that may help guide how C alifornia adapts environmental water management to address future droughts . Two technical appendices supplement this report. Appendix A is a comprehensive review of environmental water management in Victoria. Appendix B summarizes the laws governing the allocation of water in Victoria and California. 1 At the time of this writing (spring 2016) northern California had received near -average precipitation during water year 2015- 16, while southern California remains dry. A gubernatorial emergency drought declaration remains in effect. PPIC.ORG/WATER Managing Water for the Environment During Drought 5 Victoria’s Approach to Environmental Drought Management Drought is common in both Victoria and California. Since statehood, both states have developed a system of institutions, laws and infrastructure to manage episodic water scarcity. Victoria, like California today, recently endured the most severe drought in its recorded history, including 10 consecutive years of dry conditions. For both states, severe drought revealed strengths and weaknesses in water planning and drought management, particularly in efforts to reduce harm to freshwater ecosystems. It is useful for California to examine how Victoria’s drought manag ement changed, including reforms that occurred before the drought that set the stage for a more comprehensive overhaul . Before the Millennium Drought, the Commonwealth and the five states of the Murray -Darling Basin (MDB) undertook substantial reform of t heir water allocation laws and institutions. These reforms were a response to decreasing water supply reliability, a decline in environmental conditions, and a shift in national policy toward sustainable water management. These changes were embodied in the Victorian Water Act of 1989 ( see Technical Appendix B ). The Millennium Drought tested these early reforms as consecutive years of record dryness led to unprecedented reductions in available supplies. The environmental effects of drought were vast, reducing riparian, floodplain, wetland , and lak e species, including iconic trees, such as the river red gum, and many species of birds and fish (van Djik et al . 2013, Ellis et al. 2013). Due to water and land management activities before the drought, many of these species had already experienced significant population declines. The drought, with exceptionally dry and warm conditions and competing demands for scarce water, eliminated the ri ver flows needed to support these species, increasing the risk of extinction. At the height of the Millennium Drought, Victoria implemented a series of policies and subsequent amendments to the Water Act (V ictoria DELWP 2016). These amendments enhanced t he capacity of Victoria, in partnership with the Commonwealth, to more effectively manage limited supplies for the environment and balance uses for cities and farms with water for ecosystems. Here we focus on two main reforms in Victoria’s environmental w ater management that provide the most pertinent lessons for California: building and managing an environmental water portfolio, and drought planning and priority setting. The Environmental Water Portfolio The landmark Water Act of 1989 restructured Victoria’s water rights system and significantly enhanced the protection of fish, wildlife, and wetlands within the new “ water entitlement” structure. The act recognized that the environment is a lawful user of water with right s that are equal in stature to those that support other uses, such as municipal water supply and irrigation (see Technical Appendix B ). Since that time, the state, in partnership with the Commonwealth and through several amendments to the original act, has built a water portfolio that it can use to meet environmental objectives. Victoria has authority under the a ct to allocate surface and groundwater through a set of water entitlements and shares that allow for th e storage and distribution of water for municipal, agricultural, and environmental uses. The Victorian Environmental Water Reserve ( VEWR) is the principal means by which Victoria allocates water to meet environmental objectives. VEWR assets that are critical for drought management include “ planned PPIC.ORG/WATER Managing Water for the Environment During Drought 6 environmental water ” and “ held environmental water .”2 (See Figure 2 for an illustration of t he timing of use of these assets. ) The VEWR program is funded through a volume -based environmental fee charged to agricultural and urban water users. These monies are for sustainable water use projects as well as projects that reduce the environmental impacts of water use. A portion of these fees help cover the costs of the VEWR program, including administration, moni toring, scientific support for management, purchasing water shares , and managing habitat. 3 A relatively small amount of revenue also comes from leasing environmental water to other users. In addition, during and after the Millennium Drought, the Commonweal th provided more than AU$3 billion (around US$2.3 billion at current exchange rates) for the purchase of environmental entitlements (i.e., water rights for the environment) to support environmental objectives throughout the MDB. The se purchases have grown substantially since the end of the Millennium Drought, exceeding more than two million acre-feet today . 4 Planned Environmental Water The Water Act of 1989 set minimum flow requirements in all of Victoria’s major river basins for different hydrologic conditions . These standards require that “planned environmental water” (also called “passing flows”) remain s in rivers to fulfill a range of objectives , including providing environmental protection and water supply for downstream users. A portion of the water retained in storage for urban and agricultural uses is set aside to meet these minimum flow requirements. This water must be released from storage or provided at a specific place on a river. In rivers without reservoir storage, planned environmental water is created by limiting the timing and amount of surface diversions (see text box). During severe drought, planned environmental water can be reduced to ensure that critical water supply needs are met, usually for urban users. The reduction in planned environmental water is referred to as a “qualification of rights .” The Victorian Minister of Water has authority to temporarily change planned environmental water requirements. In order to qualify a right, the m inister will sometimes require mitigation measures, including payments to the Ministry to help compensate for harm to the environment (see Technical Appendix A ). Held Environmental Water In 2005, Victoria amended its Water Act to expressly recognize environmental water entitlements (or rights).5 In basins regulated by reservoirs, this “held environmental water” is reserved for environmental purposes. In 2010 Victoria again amended the act to establish the Victorian Environmental Water Holder with the authority to manage all held environmental water , planned environmental water, and water acquired through temporary trades (V ictorian EWH 2016) . 6 The VEWH has considerable discretion to determine how, where , and when water from environmental entitlements can be used. For example, it can choose to augment planned environmental water using held environmental water to achieve environmental objectives. Releases of held water may be used to mimic the natural rise and fall of rivers (see text b ox), to improve water quality or flow for specific river reaches or wetlands , and even to shift water between watersheds in highly connected water systems. In addition, the 2 In addition, in most watersheds the Victorian w ater minister has set a cap on uses of water. During wet periods, flows that occur above this cap—often flood flows — are also considered to be part of the Victorian Environmental Water Reserve (see Technical Appendix B ). 3 The amount of money available through these fees varies from year to year, but is approximately AU$100m annually (see summary in 2014 audit by the Victorian Auditor -General). 4 The amount of water held as entitlements is summarized by the Australian Government, Department of the Environment. 5 In June 2004, the Victorian government released the “ Our Water Our Future ” action plan. An important component of this plan was establishing Environmental Water Reserves. The Victorian g overnment then passed the Water (Res ource Management) Act of 2005 to amend the Water Act of 1989. From 2006, the act legally recogni zes the Environmental Water Reserve as the legal share of water for the environment in all Victorian rivers, streams , and groundwater systems. 6 The Australian Commonwealth, which administers the Murray -Darling Basin Plan, also has a large environmental water portfolio managed by the Commonwealth Environmental Water Holder (CEWH) and the Living Murray Program. The CEWH works closely with the VEHW to plan and allocate environmental water. PPIC.ORG/WATER Managing Water for the Environment During Drought 7 VEHW can decide how much water to use in one year and how much to carry over in storage for release the next year. The VEWH can even decide to trade environmental water to other users . The amount of water received by any Victorian water entitlement holder , including the environment, is based on water availability. All entitlements are made up of “water shares, ” which prescribe how much an entitlement holder will receive during reduced allocations. There are two classes of water shares: high -reliability shares that are pri ncipally used for high- revenue perennial crops, and low -reliability shares that usually are only available in wetter years. Currently, the environment holds approximately 26 percent of the high -reliability shares of water in Victoria (V ictoria DELWP 2016) . 7 During drought, low-reliability shares are allocated no water, and all high - reliability shares are reduced by an equal percentage. Thus, high -reliability shares of environmental water are treated the same as high -reliability shares for municipal and irrigation uses. Management of the environmental water portfolio depends heavily on a functional, well -regulated water market. During the Millennium Drought, m uch of the initial growth of the environmental water portfolio managed by the VEHW was acquired thro ugh investments in water efficiencies. This involved making investments such as lining of irrigation canals and installation of efficient irrigation technology and purchasing water saved for the environment (Commonwealth of Australia, 2014). The volume of new water made available proved insufficient to meet environmental objectives. In recent years, the Commonwealth has purchased a significant volume of irrigation entitlements for the environment on the water market . 8 These are managed jointly with those of the VEWH. The purchase of large volumes of irrigation entitlements caused significant controversy in the MDB for many reasons, including concerns about third-party impacts on towns and regional communities, future water prices , and financial instability for irrigators and irrigation enterprises (Commonwealth of Australia 2016) . 9 In 2014–15, the VEWH accounted for roughly half of all water traded in Victoria . M ost of these trades were between different sources of held environmental wa ter, including water held by the Commonwealth, and were undertaken to move environmental water across different parts of the water system . 10 Because of its large ownership of water and involvement in water trading, the VEWH is viewed as an important and equal partner in the water entitlement system. 7 Melbourne, the largest city in Victoria, has its own separate water system that it operates independently and is not regulate d in the same way as other water-right holders. 8 As of March 2016 , the Commonwealth had purchased 345,000 acre -feet of high- reliability water entitlements and 18,000 acre -feet of low- reliability entitlements. 9 Before its closure in 2014, the Australian National Water Commission conducted regular assessments of the social, economic and environmental impacts of water tr ading, including the purchase of irrigation entitlements for the environment. The last audit demonstrated local third -party impacts associated with entitlement purchases, but that overall economic and social impacts were relatively small (National Water Commission, 2012). 10 Water trading is supported by the Victorian Water Register, a state-sponsored source for comprehensive information about water availability and use, water rights, prices and trade opportu nities. Urban areas have limited access to this market, with trades principally for environmental and agricultural uses. PPIC.ORG/WATER Managing Water for the Environment During Drought 8 Releasing Water from Storage to Meet Multiple Needs Water stored in Victoria’s reservoirs is managed to meet urban, agricultural, and environmental demands. The Victorian Environmental Water Holder, working with catchment managers, times its release of held environmental water (i.e., stored water belonging to the environment) to improve water quality and river or floodplain habitat. The hydrograph below illustrates how the natural flow of the river (ideal for native species) is changed by both water storage in winter and water releases and use in summer. There are three types of water releases from reservoirs: Planned environmental water to maintain minimum water quality and to keep water flowing in rivers so that releases will make it to downstream users (this is to offset high losses of water due to seepage and evaporation); Water for urban and agricultural uses (this can cause rivers to flow higher than they naturally would in the dry season), and Held environmental water to meet env ironmental objectives, such as pulse flows that can support riparian and floodplain vegetation or give fish migration and spawning cues. FIGURE 2 Timing of environmental flow releases PPIC.ORG/WATER Managing Water for the Environment During Drought 9 Drought Planning T he Millennium Drought revealed significant weak nesses in preparation for managing the environmental effects of extreme water scarcity (Bond, Lake and Arthington 2008) , including insufficient technical support for decision making about water allocations. Although the Millennium Drought matched the magni tude and intensity of droughts predicted for the future under climate change , there had been limited scenario testing of response options or agreed -upon priorities for allocation of water ( CSIRO 2014) . In essence, as in California during its current drought, Victoria ’s water managers were forced to make reactive, ad hoc, and often controversial environmental management decisions. Victoria’s environmental managers also faced the need for a more transparent decision -making framework. The VEWH controls significant water assets worth hundreds of millions of dollars, and the Commonwealth has water assets worth billions. They were, appropriately, subject to intense public scrutiny for their actions during drought and needed to demonstrate that they were using these assets in way s that created the best return on investment. During the latter stages of the Millennium Drought , Victoria significantly reform ed its approach to drought preparation and planning. Today, the most important planning efforts are : the Regional Sustainable Water Strategies (undertaken every 10 years) , which determine whether there is sufficient water provided for the environment as planned and/or held environmental water ; the Regional Waterway Management Strategies (unde rtaken every eight years) , which set long-term objectives and targets for the environmental condition of rivers and wetlands ; and the Seasonal Watering Plan (undertaken annually), which guides annual environmental water use to achieve the long -term objecti ves and targets for environmental conditions (Victoria DELWP 2016). 11 The latter is developed by the VEWH with extensive stakeholder input, which increases buy -in and reduces conflicts. Setting Priorities One of the biggest challenges during the Millennium Drought was prioritizing allocations of environmental water when there simply was not enough to meet basic objectives. Normally, the VEWH aims to achieve the greatest environmental benefit for the volume of water applied and has criteria to guide decision making. There are six criteria that environmental water managers, with input from scientists and stakeholder groups, consider in setting priorities for watering actions :  Extent and significance of expected benefit,  Certainty of achieving the benefit ,  Ability to provide benefits over the long -term ,  Implications of not undertaking watering actions ,  Feasibility , and  Overall cost -effectiveness. By systematically evaluating these six criteria, environmental water managers are better able to justify their ch oices for the allocation and use of environmental water to the public, which in turn reduces controversy. These criteria also help organize the development of scientific and technical support for decision making. I n the depths of the Millennium Drought , however, the situation was so dire that the “greatest environmental benefit” actually became “the avoidance of the greatest environmental loss.” It was clear that the framework for 11 To describe the condition of rivers and wetlands, the Victorian Department of Environment and Primary Industries uses an Index of Stream Condition and an Index of Wetland Condition . Targets are set for improvement in these indexes. The last systematic update of these conditions was in 2010. PPIC.ORG/WATER Managing Water for the Environment During Drought 10 decision making would need to be expanded to account for variability in conditions. As a result, environmental water managers now use a seasonally adaptive approach —described within the Seasonal Watering Plan —that sets differing environmental watering objectives depending on hydrologic conditions (Figure 3). A change in objectives in turn causes changes in the volume, location, and timing of water allocated to environmental uses. Water managers conduct extensive scenario testing to evaluate the consequences of these choices. In addition, environmental water managers have the flexib ility to adjust operations depending upon unanticipated meteorological conditions, such as rainfall events and heat waves. Since these adjustments are scenario-tested in advance, this process creates greater certainty for all water users. FIGURE 3 Examples of environmental watering objectives under different planning scenarios SOURCE: Victorian Environmental Water Holder, 2015. Seasonal Waterin g Plan 2015-16: Introduction. NOTE: The Seasonal Watering Plan sets objectives based on the amount of precipitation and the amount in storage. This allows for changing priorities that match changes in conditions. It is important to note that priority setting is guided, but not bound, by national endangered species recovery objectives. This approach allows environmental managers to take a more ecosystem -based approach to envir onmental watering , focusing on maintaining ecosystem functions in critical locati ons that might serve a broad range of species . But it does not mean that species at imminent risk are simply allowed to go extinct. Indeed, as shown in Figure 3, the main objectives of the drought -planning scenario are prevention of species loss, maintenan ce of key refuges, and avoidance of catastrophic events. During extreme droughts, this clear set of priorities allows environmental managers to recognize the trade -offs involve d in reducing water for one environmental objective to meet a higher -priority en vironmental objective. Is the Victorian Model Successful? M anagement of environmental water in Victoria has undergone significant change over the past 30 years as policy moved from providing only basic minimum flows to the acquisition of a significant and valuable portfolio of water rights requiring active management. Some of the most important—and controversial—changes occurred in 2006- 10, as a response to the Millennium Drought. Most of the current wat er management tools were developed during this period as well. Although Victoria uses multiple monitoring and assessment programs to test PPIC.ORG/WATER Managing Water for the Environment During Drought 11 management effectiveness ( see Technical Ap pendix A), substantive, measureable changes in environmental conditions —the ultimate test of these programs—may take decades to be realized. For this reason, it is premature to conclude that this approach is biologically successful over the long term. However, there is no doubt that its adoption avoided some serious biological losses during the drought (van Dijk et al. 2013). A doption of these management practices meant that environmental water managers had a robust and transparent policy framework for maki ng decisions on the use of environmental water under all climatic conditions. I t also was a policy approach that ma de sense to the community of agricultural and urban water users . Seasonally adaptive planning made it clear that , in times of drought when everybody is making hard water and land use decisions, environment al water managers also must make some very difficult trade -offs. The result ing changes in environmental watering priorities paralleled similar decision frameworks that irrigator s were using in their businesses and that municipal water authorities were using in setting restriction policies. In addition, the changes took into account how Australian freshwater ecosystems operate in a variable climate. In a period of extreme water scarcity , when a high level of community angst and political pressure might have clouded decisions about water allocation , this approach provided sensible answers in a number of controversial areas. It may not have fully reconciled the community to the need to provide more water for the environment , but it did significantly improve the “social license” for environmental water managers to operate with the entitlements that they had been granted. From an environmental management perspective, the Millennium Drought showed very clearly that , while there will always be scientific knowledge gaps and technical challenges, the key is to ensure that there is community understanding and therefore political support for the approaches taken. Without this, the social license to operate can quickly disappear , making both short-term management and long-term policy changes much more dif ficult to achieve. PPIC.ORG/WATER Managing Water for the Environment During Drought 12 Are California’s Challenges Comparable? We consider two questions in light of our research into Victoria’s drought challenges: Are the two states sufficiently alike that the Australian experience is relevant to California ? And are their differences likely to require different approaches to management and m anagement institutions? Both Victoria and California have climates that are semi -arid with cool, wet winters and dry , warm summers ideal for growing crops . Agriculture accounts for about 80 percent of the use of developed water resources in both states, with municipal and industrial supply accounting for the remaining 20 percent . 12 Both states also have highly variable precipitation with multi- year droughts that require major investments in water supply infrastructure , and each is experiencing rising temperatures. As shown in Figure 4, these similarities are most visible in comparisons of the Murray -Darling Basin and California’s Central Valley. FIGURE 4 California and Australia have both experienced multi -year droughts and rising temperatures SOURCE: Australian Bureau of Meteorology (precipitation and temperature), N ational Oceanic and A tmospheric Administration (California temperature), DWR (California precipitation) NOTE: Diagram depicts precipitation and temperature departures from average for the MDB and California’s Central Valley since 1950. Note that the magnitude of precipitatio n deficits in California are greater than those experienced during the Millennium Drought. 12 Based on water data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics and the California Department of Water Resources (DWR). PPIC.ORG/WATER Managing Water for the Environment During Drought 13 Both states also face similar challenges in managing freshwater -dependent ecosystems and native species. Dramatic changes over the past 150 years have altered habi tat quality for native plants and animals. These changes include extensive conversion of land (usually for agriculture ), dramatic alteration of the timing and quantity of flow, disconnection of river landscapes by dams and diversions, reduction of water quality, and the introduction of numerous non- native species that have proved well-adapted to these changes. These changes have led to long- term declines in freshwater -dependent native species and to the potential for numerous extinctions (Moyle et al. 2015, Pratchett, et al. 2011). And both states experience intense controversy over the proper balanc e between water allocations to meet environmental needs and water service for agricultural and urban uses. These strong similarities indicate that the environmental drought management tools developed by Victoria could be broadly applicable to California. There are, however, some important differences in climate and biology that may affect the way these tools could be used . These include:  Duration of drou ght: California’s current drought came on the heels of a very wet year and is entering its fifth year. Victoria experienced sustained drought from 1997–2009 , with 10 consecutive dry years from 2000–2009. The social, economic, and environmental cost s associ ated with this level of dryness were a great impetus for change (van Djik et al. 2013). It is possible that California has not yet “suffered enough” to motivate major reforms.  Differences in snowpack storage: Snowpack in California is a critical part of a nnual storage, but makes up only a small portion of supply in Victoria. S nowpack is a highly vulnerable source of storage during droughts, and is also likely to diminish as a result of climate warming.  Role of groundwater : California has large groundwater reserves for drought management (up to 60% of supply during drought years versus 30% in average years), whereas northern Victoria has limited useable groundwater supplies (less than 20% of annual supply) due to high salinit y. The large groundwater reserves in California —if managed well —improve resilience to extended droughts when surface water reserves are drawn down. Switching to groundwater during drought can reduce pressure on surface water supplies that may be needed for environmental management. Additionally, groundwater stored during wet periods can be used for environmental purposes , such as managed wetlands, or for trading.  Differences in surface storage: In Victoria, surface storage relative to annual water use is t wice the level of storage in California. 13 This increases flexibility in Victoria’s management of environmental water. However, the high dependence on surface storage —rather than a combination of surface storage and large groundwater reserves —increases vulnerability during extended, multi -year drought s.  Targets of conservation : Victoria’s drought conservation efforts seek to improve habitat conditions for aquatic species, such as fish and platypus, as well as lowland riparian and floodplain plants and anima ls that rely on seasonal flooding . 14 In California, the focus of water management during drought is on maintaining habitat for threatened and endangered river and estuarine fishes. Additionally, most of the managed wetlands of the Central Valley, for exampl e, are not connected to rivers, but can be served through irrigation canals.  Different species of concern : Many of the at -risk Victorian species (such as the Murray Hardyhead and river red gums) have genetically diverse, distributed populations that allow for prioritization of 13 These and other comparison s in this section are based on statistics provided by the Victorian Department of Environment and Primary Industries and the California Department of Water Resources. 14 During the Millennium Drought, environmental managers found creative ways to deliver water to floodplain and riparian habitat without major pulse flows. This included use of earthen levees to channel flows onto floodplains as well as the use of large pumps. PPIC.ORG/WATER Managing Water for the Environment During Drought 14 conservation efforts and serve as sources for re- colonization if local extinction occurs (Davies et al. 2008, Ellis et al. 2013). Several California species, such as Delta smelt and winter -r un Chinook salmon, have narrow geographic ranges and single populations, with limited potential for natural repopulation following local extinction (Moyle et al. 2015). These differences are modest but important when considering lessons for California’s environmental management . However, the management tools developed in Victoria to address the specific needs of the Murray - Darling Basin are not overly specialized and therefore could be broadly applicable to California. PPIC.ORG/WATER Managing Water for the Environment During Drought 15 Four Key Lessons f or California The Victorian institutions that have evolved to address environmental water management are, like the climate and biology of their state, quite similar to California. Water in both states is a public -trust resource to be managed by the state for beneficial us es, including environmental health. State and federal agencies develop environmental objectives, set and enforce regulatory standards, manage water rights and environmental water, and develop scientific support for decision making (see Technical Appendi ces A and B). In principle, the objectives and institutions of the two states are broadly the same. In practice, however, there are significant differences. W e highlight four key lessons that can inform potential reforms for California as it grapples with ways to improve environmental water management and conserve native species. Lesson 1: Planning Matters The Millennium Drought changed how Victoria prepares for and responds to drought. Victoria’s multiple planning process es now address three key requirements for drought management:  P re -drought efforts to improve species’ population resilienc e;  W ater allocation priorities to reduce harm during drought (including emer gency responses), and  A ctions to recover species following drought. The robust planning framework that Victoria developed —including scenario testing to anticipate actions during drought —is arguably the most important policy innovation to emerge from the Millennium Drought. California does not have biodiversity plans that specifically address species ’ drought resilienc e, response and recovery (Hanak et al. 2015). Although the state has made great progress in monitoring at -risk species during the latest d rought and has developed long- range plans to improve the resilience of a few species , it relies principally on reactive prioritization and decision making during drought emergencies. 15 Additionally, one of the key lessons of the Millennium Drought was the value of developing community understanding of approaches taken to manage environmental water , principally through the planning process. This was essential to building political support —or, at a minimum, reducing opposition —for potentially controversial actions . California invests heavily in stakeholder outreach and public hearings, as well as extensive (and often costly ) environmental documentation. However, with some notable exceptions (e.g., the recent negotiated Klamath dam removal agreements) , the state and federal government have been unable to match Victoria’s level of community understanding when it comes to environmental water management. This makes it difficult to take significant action in a timely manner. Given the scale and complexity of California’s challenges, i t is possible (though not certain) that more transparent and systematic planning based on the Victorian model may prove useful here. Key Takeaway : Improved environmental drought planning can strengthen t he drought resilience of native species and reduce conflict during drought. 15 The California Department of Fish and Wildlife is responsible for drought response to protect native species. An online summary of the agency’s Drought Response Projects reveals that most e fforts were on species rescues or monitoring actions. Relatively few involve plans to significantly improve drought resilienc e. PPIC.ORG/WATER Managing Water for the Environment During Drought 16 Lesson 2 : State and Federal Partnerships Are Essential Both California and Victoria manage water along with their respective federal governments. In Australia, the response of the Commonwealth to the Millennium Drought was substantial and transformative. This included reforming key federal laws to enable better management and making multi -billion dollar investments to purchase irrigation entitlements to improve environmental flows. Today, the Commonwealth is a key partner with Victoria in planning for drought, as well as in building and managing the environmental water portfolio. Recent federal investment in improving drought preparedness and response in California —beyond its existing water supply operations and regulatory roles —has been modest by comparison to Australia (Mount et al. 2016). There have been significant improvements in federal -state coordination, particularly during the drought emergency. But federal spending to e nhance environmental flows has been limited in scope , focused mainly on acquiring some temporary supplies for wetlands . During the latest drought, most federal activity has sought to improv e agricultural and urban supplies, including investments in water-use efficiency and multiple petitions to state regulators to relax environmental standards to allow for increased water diversions (Hanak et al. 2015 , Gray et al. 2015). C urrent federal drought legislation under consideration do es not address the environment. Key Takeaway: Federal support, through policies and funding, can make a major difference in improving environmental drought resilience and responding to drought emergencies. Lesson 3: A Water Right for the Environment Victoria and the Commonwealth explicitly recognize that the environment is a lawful user of water and entitled to a water right. Held environmental water —that portion of stored water granted to the environment under its entitlement —is critical to meeting environmental objectives during d rought. Held environmental water managed by an e nvironmental w ater holder can be flexibly allocated to meet objectives, including transfers between local watersheds and release of flows timed to meet biological needs. Managing and increasing the amount of held environmental water requires reliable funding (e.g., from a volumetric surcharge on water use ) and water trading (both short -term and long -term) . This trading is supported by a sophisticated, government -run registry that tracks water availability, price , and use. California also has water dedicated to environmental use s. For example, the federal Central Valley Project Improvement Act of 1992 requires the US Bureau of Reclamation to allocate 800,000 acre -feet of water to improve fisheries, water qua lity, and wetlands in the Sacramento-San Joaquin River and Delta watershed . 16 This environmental allocation was augmented for several years by an Environmental Water Account operated by the California Department of Water Resources that funded temporary water purchases for environmental needs . 17 California also has a small but growing number of water rights that have been permanently dedicated to improving instream flows (Szeptcki et al. 2015) . 18 Indeed, short- and long -term water trading is playing an 16 The total amount of water allocated annually varies, depending on water year type, with the legally mandated environmental allocation reduced to 600,000 in dry years (CVPIA 1992). Indeed, the actual amount of environmental water is sometimes much less. For example, in water year 2015, the Bureau of Reclamation released only 200,000 acre -feet for environmental uses. Moreover, in all types of water years, water initially allocated to the environment is then re -diverted downstream and used for agricultural and municipal supply (US Fish and Wildlife Service and US Bureau of Reclamation 2016). 17 There have been large-scale experiments in water trading to meet environmental needs. Most prominent of these was the CALFED Environmental Water Account (EWA). The CALFED 2000 Record of Decision established the EWA to reduce the impacts of Central Valley Project and State Water Project export p umping from the Sacramento and San Joaquin Delta (CALFED 2000). Temporary purchases of water from willing sellers were used either to supplem ent flows within the Delta or to find alternative sources for project users. The goal was to allocate environmental water above regulatory baseline flows to improve conditions for at-risk native fishes. The amount of water purchased for the en vironment declined after 2007. The last long-term acquisition was for 60,000 acre-feet per year from 2008 -15 from the Yuba Count y Water Agency under the Yuba Accord Water Purcha se Agreement. There are also ongoing efforts, such as those of the US Bureau of Reclamation to sell, recover, exchange , or bank water that is stored but not used for restoration of the San Joaquin River. The description of the management plan for these unreleased restoration f lows is described here. 18 The usefulness of these rights during drought depends on their volume and sen iority (Technical Appendix B ). PPIC.ORG/WATER Managing Water for the Environment During Drought 17 increasi ng role in environmental management , particularly in some small watersheds ( Hanak and Stryjewski 2014, SWIFT 2016). Finally, in 2014, Californians voted to allocate $200 million in Proposition 1 bond funds to enable the Wildlife Conservation Board to acqui re long-term supplies for the environment. Distribution of funds for these purchases is still in its earliest stages. These multiple efforts to secure and manage water for the environment in California suffer from several disadvantages in comparison to Victoria. First, water dedicated to the environment through regulatory processes cannot be managed as flexibly as environmental water rights. 19 Second, the total volume of environmental water trading is mo dest in size (Hanak and Stryje wski 2014 ; Hanak and Jezdimirovic 2016) ; and, due to funding constraints, tends to go down during drought when this water is most needed. Third, California has an inefficient water market that lacks a functional water registry —a tool that can facilitate and track trading (Gray et al. 2015). This greatly limits the ability to trade water for the environment, even if it is available. Fourth, California has no equivalent to the Victoria Environmental Water Holder to organize and m anage environmental water to meet planned objectives . 20 Finally, the environment is one of California’s long -standing “fiscal orphans,” with no reliable source of funding beyond periodic infusions of bond funds (Hanak et al. 2014). Key Takeaway: Granting the environment a high- priority water right (or its equivalent) —supported by a robust water market and reliably funded, coordinated management —can help reduce uncertainty and increase flexibility for environmental drought management . 21 Lesson 4: The Environment as an Equal Priority National and state level reforms in Australia before and during the Millennium Drought elevated the environment to the status of an equal priority with urban and agricultural uses. Planning efforts integrated the environment into all aspects of water management, setting broad objectives for maintaining healthy ecosystems and preparing for , and responding to, drought. The environment was granted a water right, giving the Victoria Environmental Water Holder and other environmental water managers the resources to build and manage an extensive water portfolio. In this way, the environment became a key stakeholder in water management with an equal “seat at the table” in negotiations , while also becoming a partner in constructing solutions. Moreover, the structure of this right— i.e., with cuts shared equally among holders of high priority shares , including the environment—reduced the perception that the burdens of drought were not shared equally. California has made important strides on integrating the environment into its water planning and operations. Negotiated agreements , such as the Lower Yuba River Accord, have shown promise in improving the allocation of water for environmental purposes (especially during droug ht), while still meeting demands of other water users. 22 More generally, the Delta Reform Act of 2009 made it state policy to manage and allocate the waters of the Sacramento -San Joaquin and Delta ecosystem for the “co -equal” goals of water supply reliabili ty and ecosystem health . 23 19 For instance, during the latest drought, it would have been helpful if water allocated to wildlife refuges under the CVPIA could have been traded, to help get limited supplies to places along the Pacific Flyway where water was most needed. 20 T he exception may be environmental water trusts in small catchments that assume this role (SWIFT 2016) . 21 The concept of an “Environmental Water Budget” for Cali fornia that functions like Victorian held environmental water is explored in Gray et al. (2015). 22 The Lower Yuba River Accord is a negotiated settlement between diverse agricultural, urban and environmental interests as well as state and federal regulators. It relies on integrated management of surface water and groundwater to improve environmental conditions in the Yuba River and in the Delta, meet local and regional water supplies, and manage flood r isk. 23 According to the California Water Code §85054, "Coequal goals means the two goals of providing a more reliable water supply f or California and protecting, restoring, and enhancing the Delta ecosystem. The coequal goals shall be achieved in a manner that protects and enhances the unique cultural, recreational, natural resource, and agricultural values of the Delta as an evolving place." PPIC.ORG/WATER Managing Water for the Environment During Drought 18 Yet d espite these advances in policy, environmental objectives remain principally focused on meeting minimum regulatory requirements under the state and federal water quality and endangered species laws, rather than to improve overall environmental conditions (Hanak et al. 2011). Conceptually, t his approach may be more protective of at -risk native species than th e more flexible, ecosystem -based approach taken by Victoria , because it makes avoidance of extinction the highest environmental priority. 24 But it also creates the perception that the environment is simply a constraint, rather than an integrated priority in water management. 25 Key Takeaway: Fully integrating the environment into water management —including defining environmental protection and restoration as a priority and allocating resources to environmental watering— can improve drought resilience and decre ase controversy. 24 In California, both federal and state Endangered Species Acts prohibit the unauthorized taking of listed species , and the federal law precludes any federal (or federally authorized or funded) action that would place a protected species in jeopardy of extinction or adversely modify its critical habitat. Although Victoria has a strong policy of avoiding risk of extinc tion and of causing harm to endangered species during drought, nothing in state or national law categorically prohibits takin g of, or jeopardy to, such species ( Technical Appendix B). 25 This perception that the environment is a burden on efforts to maximize urban and agricultural uses of water is not unique to California. It is ingrained in the approach to western US water policy in general and is part of federal water policy that seeks to “wring as much water from the system without breaking laws” (Mount et al. 2016). PPIC.ORG/WATER Managing Water for the Environment During Drought 19 Conclusion The state of Victoria, along with the Commonwealth of Australia , enacted sweeping reforms that improved the effectiveness and acceptance of allocation of water to the environment. California, now in its fifth year of drought and with similar biological, political, and social challenges, can learn from Victoria’s policy reforms . F our general lessons from Victoria’s Millennium Drought experience are of value to California:  Planning for drought, rather than reacting to drought, can improve environmental management and reduce conflict. California lacks reliable and acce pted environmental drought plans to protect native species, to build resilience during normal and wet years , and to set priorities during times of extreme scarcity.  Strong state and federal partnerships are vital to drought preparation and response. Although federal -state coordination and communication has improved, the federal government —despite its key responsibilities in regulating and providing water resources —has not played a significant role in anticipating or ameliorating the effects of drought on California's environment .  An environmental water right, as part of a flexibly managed portfolio of environmental water, can be effective in adapting to drought. Although California has some water allocated to the environment, the volumes are still relatively small and the supplies cannot be flexibly managed, limiting their impact. Efforts to acquire significant permanent supplies for e nvironmental uses have been limited by a lack of funding.  Treating environmental water as equal in status to that of other uses would help integrate environmental protection and enhancement into all phases of water management . This in turn would increase the responsiveness, flexibility, and effectiveness of California’s long -term “environmental watering” programs and better enable the state to achieve its policy of “co -equal” goals for water supply reliability and ecosystem health. One of the most distinc tive differences between California and Victoria is the comparative capacity for resolving conflict over environmental water. Although policy reforms during the Millennium Drought proved highly controversial and difficult to enact, Victorians managed to co mplete a suite of changes that have improved environmental water management and addressed key issues of drought preparation, drought response, and drought recovery . For whatever reason —social, legal, or political—Californians have found it difficult to tac kle this issue in a productive way. California has made some important advances in environmental water management during the current drought, including enacting historic legislation to reform groundwater management, developing new standards for environmental flows in a few basins, and allocating bond funds to purchase water rights for the environment. But much more needs to be done to improve drought resilience and to reduce conflict over environmental water allocations for future droughts . As California tackles these improvements, the planning and management adaptations developed by Victoria during the Millennium Drought can serve as a useful guide. PPIC.ORG/WATER Managing Water for the Environment During Drought 20 REFERENCES Central Valley Project Improvement Act. 1992. Pub. L. No. 102- 575, Title 34, 106 Stat. 4706, §§ 3401, 3406(b)(2). Commonwealth of Australia. 2015. Water Recovery Strategy for the Murray-Darling Basin . Commonwealth of Australia. 2016. Refreshing the Plan: Report of the Senate Committee on the Murray -Darling Basin Plan. CSIRO and Australian Bureau of Meteorology . 2014. State of the Climate 2014. Davies, P eter, John Harris, T erry Hillman, and K eith Walker. 2008. A Report on the Ecological Health of Rivers in the Murray -Darling Basin 2004 –2007 . Independent Sustainable Rivers Audit Group for the Murray -Darling Basin Commission, Canberra. Ellis, I ain D aniel Stoessel, M ichael Hammer, S cotte Wedderburn, L ara Suitor, and A rkellah Hall. 2013. “ Conservation of an I nauspicious E ndangered Freshwater Fish, Murray Hardyhead ( Craterocephalus fluviatilis) , D uring D rought and Competing Water Demands in the Murray -Darling Basin, Australia. ” Marine and Freshwater Research. 64 (9):792 -806. Gray, B rian, Ellen Hanak, Richard Frank, Richard Howitt, Jay Lund, Leon Szeptycki, and Barton “Buzz” Thompson. 2015. Allocating California’s Water: D irections for Reform. Public Policy Institute of California. Hanak, Ellen and Jelena Jezdimirovic. 2016. “State Water Market Needs Reform.” PPIC Blog. February 2. Hanak, Ellen and E lizabeth Stryje wski. 2012. California’s Water Market, By the Numbers, Update 2012. Public Policy Institute of California. Hanak, E llen, Brian Gray, J ay Lund, D avid Mitchell, C aitrin Chappelle, A ndrew Fahlund, K atrina Jessoe, J osué Medell ín -Azuara, D ean Misczynski, James N achbaur, and R obyn Suddeth. 2014. Paying for Water in California . Public Policy Institute of California. Hanak, E llen, Jeffrey Mount, C aitrin Chappelle, J ay Lund, Josué Medellín -Azuara, Peter Moyle, and Nathaniel Seavy . 2015. W hat I f California’s Drought Continues? Public Policy Institute of California. Mount, J effrey, E llen Hanak, C aitrin Chappelle, B rian Gray, P eter Moyle, B arton “Buzz” Thompson, Jay Lund. 2015a. Policy Priorities for Managing Drought . Public Policy Institute of California. Mount, J effrey, Ellen Hanak, J ay Lund, J ohn Eadie, B rian Gray, P eter Moyle, N athaniel Seavy, L eon Szeptycki, and J oshua Viers. 2015b. “ California’s Water: Water for the Environmen t.” Public Policy Institute of California. Mount, J effrey, Ellen Hanak, C aitrin Chappelle, B onnie Colby, R ichard Frank, G reg Gartrell, B rian Gray, D ouglas Kenney, J ay Lund, P eter Moyle, and L eon Szeptycki. 2016. Improving the Federal Response to Western Drought: Five Areas for Reform . Public Policy Institute of California. Moyle, P eter, Rebecca Quiñones, J acob Katz, and Jeff Weaver. 2015. Fish Species of Special Concern in California. California Department of Fish and Wildlife. Sacramento National Water Commission of Australia. 2012. Impacts of Water Trading in the Southern Murray -Darling Basin, B etween 2006-7 and 2010-11. Patterson, B rittany. 2015. “What Austral ia Can Teach the W orld about S urviving Drought: Melbourne H olds Lessons for the US Southwest and Other Places Struggling with a L ack of Precipitation .” Scientific American ClimateWire. Pratchett, M. S., Bay, L. K., Gehrke , P. C., Koehn, J. D., Osborne, K., Pressey, R. L., Sweatman, H. P. A., and Wachenfeld, D. 2011. “ Contribution of Climate Change to Degradation a nd Loss of Critical Fish Habitats in Australian Marine and Freshwater Environments .” Marine and Freshwater Rese arch. 62: 1062 –1081 Szeptycki, Leon, Julia Forgie, Elizabeth Hook, Kori Lorick, and Philip Womble. 2015. Environmental Water Transfers: A Review of State Laws. Stanford Woods Institute. Small Watershed Instream Flow Transfers (SWIFT) Working Group. 2016. A Practitioner’s Guide to Instream Flow Transactions in California. Turner, A ndrea, Stuart White, J oanne Chong, M ary Ann Dickinson, H eather Cooley and K ristina Donnelly. 2016. Managing Drought : L earning from Australia . Prepared by the Alliance for Water Efficiency, the Institute for Sustainable Futures, University of Technology Sydney , and the Pacific Institute. US Fish and Wildlife Service and US Bureau of Reclamation. 2016. Water Year 2015 Final Accounting. Fishery and Water Quality Control Plan Actions. van Dijk , A lbert, Hylke Beck, Russel Crosbie, Richard de Jeu, Yi Liu, Geoff Podger, Bertrand Timbal, and Neil Viney. 2013. “The Millennium Drought in Southeast Australia (2001– 2009): Natural and Human Causes and Implications for W ater Resources, E cosystems, Economy , and Society.” Water Resource Research . 49 (2):1040 -1057 Victoria DELWP ( Department of Envir onment, Land, Water and Planning ). 2016. Water . Victorian EWH (Environmental Water Holder ). 2016. Managing Victoria’s Environmental Water Entitlements and Allocations . PPIC.ORG/WATER Managing Water for the Environment During Drought 21 ABOUT THE AUTHOR S Jeffrey Mount is a senior fellow at the PPIC Water Policy Center . He is an emeritus professor at UC Davis in the Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences and founding director of the Center for Watershed Sciences. A geomorphologist who specializes in the study of rivers, streams, and wetlands, his research focuses on i ntegrated water resource management, flood management, and improving aquatic ecosystem health. He has served on many state and federal boards and commissions that address water resource management issues in the West. He has published more than a hundred ar ticles, books, and other publications, including the seminal book California Rivers and Streams (UC Press). He holds a PhD and MS in earth sciences from the University of California, Santa Cruz. Brian Gray is an adjunct fellow at the PPIC Water Policy Center and professor emeritus at the University of California, Hastings College of the Law in San Francisco. He has published numerous articles on environmental and water resources law and coauthored a variety of PPIC reports, including the 2011 interdisciplinary book on California water policy, Managing California’s Water: From Conflict to Reconciliation. He has argued before the California Supreme Court and the US Court of Appeals in cases involving wild and scenic rivers, water pricing reform, takings, and water rights and environmental quality. He is a recipient of the William Rutter Award for Excellence in Teaching and the UC Hastings Outstanding Professor Award. He holds a JD from the University of California, Berkeley, and a BA in economics from Pomona College. Caitrin Phillips Chappelle is associate director at the PPIC Water Policy Center, where she manages research and operations. Her own research focuses on natural resource management and California water policy. She has co -authored work on the statewide drought, funding ga ps in water management, and multiple ecosystem stressors in the Sacramento –San Joaquin Delta. Previously, she worked for the US Geological Survey. She holds an MPP from the Goldman School of Public Policy at the University of California, Berkeley , and a BS in ecology from California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo. Jane Doolan is a professorial fellow in natural resources governance at the University of Canberra, Australia, and the chair of the Murray -Darling Freshwater Research Centre. She h as extensive experience in sustainable water - resource management, providing policy advice to the Victorian government on issues such as urban and rural water supply and security, national water reform, water allocation and river and catchment management an d water sector governance. She has worked on key policy initiatives at the state and national levels in river health policy, environmental water allocation, institutional arrangements for catchment management, and the management of water during drought and climate change. She holds a PhD in zoology from the University of Melbourne. Ted Grantham i s an assistant cooperative extension specialist in the department of environmental science, policy, and management at the University of California, Berkeley, with a focus on freshwater ecology, stream hydrology, and climate risk assessment. He manages cooperative research projects through the Grantham Lab at UC Berkeley, which explores the relationships between hydrological and ecological processes in studies relevan t to the management of water resources. He holds a PhD in environmental science, policy, and management from UC Berkeley. Nathaniel Seavy is the research director of the Pacific Coast and Central Valley Group at Point Blue Conservation Science. His resear ch is focused on the ecology and conservation of riparian ecosystems, bird migration, understanding and preparing for the ecological effects of climate change, and applying science to conservation decision making and public policy. He has published more than 45 peer -reviewed scientific papers and book chapters in journals such as Ecological Applications, Journal of Wildlife Management, Biological Conservation, Conservation Biology, and PLoS ONE. He holds an MS and PhD in zoology from the University of Flori da. PPIC.ORG/WATER Managing Water for the Environment During Drought 22 ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS We thank Ellen Hanak for serving as lead reviewer, and Alvar Escriva -Bou, Kevin Hunting, Michael Jensz, and Michael Stewardson for very helpful reviews of an earlier draft. Lori Pottinger, Abby Cook, and Lynette Ubois provided expert editorial support. We alone are responsible for any remaining errors or omissions. This publication was developed with partial support from Assistance Agreement No. 83586701 awarded by the US Environmental Protection Agency to the Public Policy Institute of California. It has not been formally reviewed by EPA. The views expressed in this document are solely those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect those of the agency. EPA does not endorse any products or commercial services mentioned in this publication. PUBLIC POLICY INSTITUTE OF CALIFORNIA Board of Directors Donna Lucas, Chair Chief Executive Officer Lucas Public Affairs Mark Baldassare President and CEO Public Policy Institute of California Ruben Barrales President and CEO GROW Elect María Blanco Executive Director Undocumented Student Legal Services Center University of California Office of the President Louise Henry Bryson Chair Emerita, Board of Trustees J. Paul Getty Trust A. Marisa Chun Partner McDermott Will & Emery LLP Phil Isenberg Former Chair, Delta Stewardship Council Mas Masumoto Author and Farmer Steven A. Merksamer Senior Partner Nielsen, Merksamer, Parrinello, Gross & Leoni, LLP Gerald L. Parsky Chairman Aurora Capital Group Kim Polese Chairman ClearStreet, Inc. Gaddi H. Vasquez Senior Vice President Government Affairs Edison International Southern California Edison Frances Spivy-Weber, Chair Vice Chair State Water Resou rces Control Board Timothy Quinn, Vice Chair Executive Director Association of California Water Agencies Mark Baldassare President and CEO Public Policy Institute of California Celeste Cantú General Manager Santa Ana Watershed Project Authority Dave Cogdill President & CEO California Building Industry Association Lauren B. Dachs President and Vice Chair of the Board of Directors S. D. Bechtel, Jr. Foundation Daniel M. Dooley Principal New Current Water and Land, LLC Debbie Franco Community and Rural Affairs Advisor and Local Drought Liaison Governor’s Office of Planning and Research Phil Isenberg Former Chair Delta Stewardship Council Debra C. Man Assistant General Manager and Chief Operating Officer Metropolitan Water District of Southern California David Puglia Executive Vice President Western Growers Lester Snow Executive Director Water Foundation Mike Sweeney Executive Director The Nature Conservancy California Chapter PPIC WATER POLICY CENTER Advisory Council The Public Policy Institute of California is dedicated to informing and improving public policy in California through independent, objective, nonpartisan research. Public Policy Institute of California 500 Washington Street, Suite 600 San Francisco, CA 94111 T: 415.291.440 F: 415.291.4401 PPIC.ORG/WATER P PIC Sacramento Center Senator Office Building 1121 L Street, Suite 801 Sacramento, CA 95814 T: 916.440.1120 F: 916.440.1121" ["post_date_gmt"]=> string(19) "2017-05-20 09:43:04" ["comment_status"]=> string(4) "open" ["ping_status"]=> string(6) "closed" ["post_password"]=> string(0) "" ["post_name"]=> string(8) "r_616jmr" ["to_ping"]=> string(0) "" ["pinged"]=> string(0) "" ["post_modified"]=> string(19) "2017-05-20 02:43:04" ["post_modified_gmt"]=> string(19) "2017-05-20 09:43:04" ["post_content_filtered"]=> string(0) "" ["guid"]=> string(50) "http://148.62.4.17/wp-content/uploads/R_616JMR.pdf" ["menu_order"]=> int(0) ["post_mime_type"]=> string(15) "application/pdf" ["comment_count"]=> string(1) "0" ["filter"]=> string(3) "raw" ["status"]=> string(7) "inherit" ["attachment_authors"]=> bool(false) }