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Testimony: Adapting California’s Water Rights System to the 21st-Century Climate

By Ellen Hanak, Brian Gray, Jeffrey Mount

PPIC Water Policy Center director Ellen Hanak and senior fellows Brian Gray and Jeffrey Mount testified before the Assembly Water, Parks, and Wildlife Committee Informational Hearing, “How Should California’s Water Right System Adapt to a 21st Century Climate?” today. Read their prepared remarks.

Policy Brief

Policy Brief: The Future of Agriculture in the San Joaquin Valley

By Alvar Escriva-Bou, Ellen Hanak, Spencer Cole, Josué Medellín-Azuara

Agriculture is a key driver of the regional economy in the San Joaquin Valley, but water for irrigation is an ongoing—and growing—concern. Our latest research offers the most accurate, nuanced, and localized look at where fallowing may need to occur—and details the policy and management actions that could lead to better outcomes.

blog post

Can Nine Atmospheric Rivers Recharge California’s Groundwater?

By Sarah Bardeen

Last month’s storms dropped immense amounts of water on California. Now, many people are wondering if we’ve been able to sock away any of that bounty—so we asked groundwater hydrologist Helen Dahlke to give us the skinny.

blog post

Can We Capture More Water in the Delta?

By Sarah Bardeen

A massive amount of water is moving through the Sacramento–San Joaquin Delta in the wake of recent storms, and calls have risen from all quarters to capture more of this bounty. We spoke with PPIC Water Policy Center adjunct fellow Greg Gartrell to understand what’s preventing that—and to dispel the myth of “water wasted to the sea.”

blog post

Adapting to a Water-Scarce California

By Ellen Hanak

With the arrival of a series of atmospheric rivers, drought-weary Californians are now confronting the weather whiplash that’s a hallmark of our state’s climate. But the current deluge won’t erase California’s water challenges. PPIC Water Policy Center director Ellen Hanak reflects on what happened with California’s water in 2022—and explores how to manage the resource in our increasingly volatile climate.

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Video: Surplus and Shortage—California’s Water Balancing Act

By Sarah Bardeen

After three years of virtual events, our annual fall conference returned to an in-person format in Sacramento on Friday, November 18. The upshot? Good people, good food, and three vital panel discussions about managing water in California’s changing climate. Read our recap!

blog post

Climate-Challenged California Must Learn to Thrive with Less Water

By Ellen Hanak, Jeffrey Mount

Managing water in our increasingly volatile climate is becoming more challenging: even if we do everything right, water supplies are likely to decline. The grand challenge for 21st-century water management in California is learning to thrive with less.

blog post

Video: Solar Development in the San Joaquin Valley

By Sarah Bardeen

Last week, we gathered a panel of experts to debate the potential benefits and challenges of solar development in the San Joaquin Valley. Watch the event video to learn more about our new research—and to see a lively discussion about how solar might deliver lasting benefits to the region and the state.

Report

Solar Energy and Groundwater in the San Joaquin Valley

By Andrew Ayres, Annabelle Rosser, Ellen Hanak, Alvar Escriva-Bou ...

Hundreds of thousands of acres of irrigated farmland may come out of production in the San Joaquin Valley in coming decades. At the same time, the state needs to ramp up renewable energy generation to meet climate goals. Could solar development on fallowed land help the valley’s residents? Our new report examines the challenges and opportunities.

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The Environmental Benefits of the Water Storage Investment Program

By Gokce Sencan, Jeffrey Mount

The Water Storage Investment Program is the first attempt use public funds to incentivize new water storage for the environment. While the program has faced some challenges, it could prove to be a useful model for future efforts—with some improvements.

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