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Priorities for California’s Water

By Jeffrey Mount, Letitia Grenier, Ellen Hanak, Caitlin Peterson ...

California has made great strides in preparing for a drier, hotter future, but it remains a challenge to harness the bounty of wet years while also reducing flood risk. How did California’s water sector manage the unusually wet 2023 water year—and what lessons can we glean for the future?

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Managing Water and Farmland Transitions in the San Joaquin Valley

Achieving groundwater sustainability is vital to the health of the San Joaquin Valley’s communities, agriculture, environment, and economy—but the transition will be challenging. How can the region ensure the best outcomes? Authors of a new PPIC study and a diverse group of local and state experts will discuss key issues and solutions to some of the valley’s looming challenges.

Report

Managing Water and Farmland Transitions in the San Joaquin Valley

By Ellen Hanak, Andrew Ayres, Caitlin Peterson, Alvar Escriva-Bou ...

How can the San Joaquin Valley adapt to a future with less water? We’ve been researching this issue for the past seven years, and our new report presents highlights from we’ve learned, including a robust list of policy suggestions to help the valley weather—and make the most of—the coming changes.

Fact Sheet

Student Loan Debt in California

By Jacob Jackson, Darriya Starr

Student borrowing in California has declined markedly over the past decade. Borrowing rates vary across the state’s public and private institutions; undergraduates at public universities are least likely to borrow, while students who attend for-profit schools are more likely to struggle to pay off loans.

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Making the Most of a Wet Year

California just saw one of the driest and warmest three-year periods on record end in an epic wet season. As we head into spring, when snow melts and demand skyrockets, it’s a good time to take stock. Is the drought over? Did we sock away some water for the next dry period? Where are we most vulnerable to flooding? And what might we do better? Join us for a panel discussion with three experts who can speak to all these issues—and more.

Explainer

Is College Worth It?

By Marisol Cuellar Mejia, Cesar Alesi Perez, Vicki Hsieh, Hans Johnson

Rising college costs and a reluctance to take on debt lead many students and families to wonder if college will actually yield a brighter future with higher earnings and better jobs. In this explainer, we explore whether the benefits of a college degree outweigh the costs.

blog post

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.

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Surplus and Shortage: California’s Water Balancing Act

As climate change accelerates, it’s bringing more extreme weather to California: The dry periods are hotter and drier than ever before—and the wet periods can be torrential. The only certainty is that water managers at every level will have to plan for and respond to extremes. How can we cope with the increasing volatility of our water cycle? We bring together three panels of experts to find out.

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Solar Development in the San Joaquin Valley

To balance the San Joaquin Valley’s groundwater basins, hundreds of thousands of acres of irrigated farmland may come out of production in the coming decades. Utility-scale solar development—already an attractive option for landowners—could help keep these lands economically productive, but it faces some obstacles. Can solar overcome these challenges and help support the region as a whole? Join us for an expert panel discussion.

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