Yesterday was a highlight of the recent onslaught of climate change-related gatherings-- the California Water Law Symposium.
ZERO ALLOCATION DAY, a Friday, was a quiet day. Fish and farms have nothing to fight over. Finally these interests have something (no water) in common.
John Leshy: Looking back, California used to have 150 yr-long droughts; it was settled in an unusually wet period; all our distribution systems were designed for a larger volume of water than we can expect in the future.
Forrest Melton: NASA Ames is using satellites (2 landsats, 2 MODIS) and ground data (CIMIS -- the California Irrigation Management Information System) to calculate how much to irrigate given evapotranspiration-- super efficient use of water!
Jay Lund: Everyone thinks the solution to drought is to build reservoirs. But it's not Field of Dreams-- build a basin and it will fill with water-- we are losing snowmelt as a source, we shouldn't invest in new infrastructure that is dependent on historical conditions. Repurpose old, smaller reservoirs? Manage groundwater better!
Cliff Lee: The Endangered Species Act (ESA) is potentially going to be rendered irrelevant by climate change (which will make many historic salmon streams too shallow/warm for spawning--> some populations are doomed, ESA can't save them)
Lester Snow: GROUNDWATER GROUNDWATER GROUNDWATER; innovation; diversification; learn to manage resources as well as we manage crises (reacting to symptoms, not problem); need to reach out to find new leadership among Latinos, Millennials-- demographic shift is salient to water planning
Desalination-- Carlsbad Project-- desal is either a totally reasonable, do-able thing or the devil's work, bound to poison the ocean at brine discharge site and tie ratepayers to high-priced, energy-intensive water
Fresh water flow into the San Francisco Bay Delta is either critical to estuary health or not, apparently evidence is disputed; a good source on the Delta is Aquafornia
That's all, pray for rain