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Slowing Climate Change by Capturing Carbon

By Sarah Bardeen

Slashing greenhouse gas emissions is one of the 21st century’s most pressing tasks—and for difficult-to-cut emissions, direct air carbon capture could help. But what is this emerging technology, and how might it fit into California’s decarbonization strategy? We asked Roger Aines of Lawrence Livermore National Labs to tell us more.


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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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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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.

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The Promise of a Wet January

By Jeffrey Mount

California is in an impressive—and much-needed—wet period. But the current parade of atmospheric rivers also highlights how difficult it is to capture and store water during times of great abundance. Can we do better?

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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!

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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.


Storing Water for the Environment

By Sarah Null, Jeffrey Mount, Brian Gray, Kristen Dybala ...

Large reservoirs are essential for managing water in California’s highly variable climate—but over the years, the construction and operation of these reservoirs have had significant environmental costs. Our new research outlines how reservoir operations could be changed to improve the health of the state’s fragile freshwater ecosystems.

Policy Brief

Policy Brief: Drought and California’s Agriculture

By Alvar Escriva-Bou, Josué Medellín-Azuara, Ellen Hanak, John Abatzoglou

California’s agricultural sector is the nation’s largest: it generates more than $50 billion dollars in annual revenue and employs more than 420,000 people. The ongoing drought is taking a toll on agriculture, related sectors, and rural communities, but there are ways to increase resilience in a warming world.

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What’s Really Important? Putting Recent Water News into Perspective

By Sarah Bardeen

Last week, three major stories about California’s water supply dominated the news. We asked PPIC Water Policy Center director Ellen Hanak and senior fellow Jeff Mount to share their perspectives on what’s really important about these stories.

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