Every Last Drop

Gov. Jerry Brown has proposed two giant tunnels, each wide enough to contain most of the Sacramento River, to alleviate California’s chronic water woes and reduce tension between San Joaquin Valley farmers and salmon advocates. This controversial project, billed “California WaterFix,” is little more than a modern application of irrigation technology developed by the Roman Empire. Scientists at an East Bay laboratory, meanwhile, are also trying to address water shortages, but to do so, they’re delving into uncharted realms of science and technology.