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Groundwater and Urban Growth in the San Joaquin Valley

By Andrew Ayres, Ellen Hanak, Henry McCann, David Mitchell ...

As the San Joaquin Valley addresses groundwater overdraft under the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act (SGMA), its urban utilities face unique challenges. Learn how to ensure a smooth transition for the region’s residents.

Policy Brief

Policy Brief: Groundwater and Urban Growth in the San Joaquin Valley

By Andrew Ayres, Ellen Hanak, Henry McCann, David Mitchell ...

This policy brief distills the key takeaways from our report about the challenges urban utilities in the San Joaquin Valley will face as they address groundwater overdraft under the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act (SGMA). Learn how to ensure a smooth transition for the region’s residents.

Report

Improving California’s Water Market

By Andrew Ayres, Ellen Hanak, Brian Gray, Gokce Sencan ...

Water trading and banking will prove important tools to help California bring its groundwater basins into balance under the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act (SGMA). A broad range of policy changes could help improve and expand California’s water market while protecting communities from harm.

Fact Sheet

Public Preschools in California

By Caroline Danielson, Tess Thorman

Most parents of young children work, but public preschool programs are fragmented and currently unable to serve all who are eligible. Improvements will require a multipronged approach.

blog post

Making Homes More Water Efficient

By Lori Pottinger

An expert interview on how California could save billions of gallons a year if older homes were as water efficient as newer ones.

Report

What If California’s Drought Continues?

By Ellen Hanak, Jay Lund, Jeffrey Mount, Peter Moyle ...

California is in the fourth year of a severe, hot drought—the kind that is increasingly likely as the climate warms. Although no sector has been untouched, impacts so far have varied greatly, reflecting different levels of drought preparedness. Urban areas are in the best shape, thanks to sustained investments in diversified water portfolios and conservation. Farmers are more vulnerable, but they are also adapting. The greatest vulnerabilities are in some low-income rural communities where wells are running dry and in California’s wetlands, rivers, and forests, where the state’s iconic biodiversity is under extreme threat. Two to three more years of drought will increase challenges in all areas and require continued—and likely increasingly difficult—adaptations. Emergency programs will need to be significantly expanded to get drinking water to rural residents and to prevent major losses of waterbirds and extinctions of numerous native fish species, including most salmon runs. California also needs to start a longer-term effort to build drought resilience in the most vulnerable areas.

Report

Pretrial Detention and Jail Capacity in California

By Sonya Tafoya

California’s persistently overcrowded jails are facing additional challenges now that public safety realignment has shifted many lower-level offenders from state prisons to county supervision. Jail capacity challenges are prompting a reconsideration of California’s heavy reliance on holding unsentenced defendants in jail pending trial—known as pretrial detention. The legal rationale for pretrial detention is to ensure court appearances and preserve public safety. But California’s high rates of pretrial detention have not been associated with lower rates of failure to appear or lower levels of felony rearrests. This report concludes that pretrial services programs—if properly implemented and embraced by the courts, probation, and the jails—could address jail overcrowding and improve the efficiency, equitability, and transparency of pretrial release decision making.

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