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Opinion: It’s Time to Get Serious About Water Crisis

Talk about timing.

Last Tuesday, Gov. Gavin Newsom extended and expanded his declaration of a drought emergency, just as the first in a series of storms rolled in from the Pacific to give California a much-needed respite.

Of course, it was just coincidence, one that reminds us of the fickle nature of the state’s water supply, dependent as it is on a few wet months each year. We’ll need an old-fashioned wet winter, with soaking rains and heavy snowfalls, to truly get some relief.

Opinion: ‘Forever Chemicals’ Are Everywhere. It’s Time to Rein Them in

Polyfluoroalkyl and perfluoroalkyl substances, or PFAS, are a class of man-made chemicals that break down slowly in the environment, can accumulate in the human body and have been linked to all manner of negative health effects from cancer to high cholesterol.

But these “forever chemicals” are nearly impossible to avoid. They are, quite literally, all around us: in consumer products, from cosmetics and cookware to food packaging and firefighting foam; in our food supply; in the soil, air and water; and even running through our veins.

Opinion: the Colorado River Drought Contingency Plan Is No Longer a Contingency

If you live in Colorado—you get it. We don’t quit when challenged. Whether you live in a city, on a farm or ranch, in a rural town, or somewhere in between—you are part of the dynamic group of people who call Colorado home; people who understand when it comes to protecting Colorado water, specifically the Colorado River’s water, we must rise together to meet the challenge.

 

From its headwaters in the Rocky Mountains, the Colorado River flows broadly across 1,450 miles of the southwestern United States, changing elevation by a remarkable 10,000 feet. More than 40 million people rely on the Colorado, the nation’s fifth-longest river, for drinking water and energy through hydroelectric power. In addition, the river supports an estimated $25 billion recreational economy and an agricultural economy of about $1.4 trillion a year.

Opinion: What You Can Do — and What You Can’t — to Deal With California’s Driest Year

It can’t be because everything else was going so well. It can’t be because the rain gods thought we had it too good, or that there were too few flames burning too few trees and homes, or that the summer wasn’t hot enough or there was too little violent crime or not enough deadly disease. We’ve had more than our fill of all that.

In fact, we may never know the reason why last year was not only dry, but was California’s second-driest year on record, according to the state Department of Water Resources. And the prospects for the current water year, which began on Oct. 1, aren’t any better.

Opinion: Madera County’s Groundwater Situation Is Dire. New Efforts Are Underway to Address It

The Sustainable Groundwater Management Act (SGMA) made the County of Madera responsible for groundwater management for the more than 200,000 acres that are not part of an irrigation or water district (the “white areas”) in Madera County. Like many regions in the Central Valley, Madera County is heavily groundwater dependent. The average annual shortage in the Madera subbasin alone is approximately 165,000 acre-feet per year, a number calculated over a 50-year period to account for both wet and dry periods.

 

Opinion: Lithium in Imperial Valley Could Light California’s future

President Joe Biden’s pledge to boost America’s clean-energy economy is great news for the planet and aligns well with California’s goal to lead the way to a 100 percent clean energy future. The Biden administration is working to position the United States to lead the world in manufacturing electric vehicles while securing a domestic supply chain of the materials these vehicles require.

Last year, electric vehicles became California’s No. 1 export and our state is proud to be home to 34 zero-emission vehicle related manufacturers.

Opinion: A Joint Effort to Protect the Central Valley’s Water, Ecology

Like a human fingerprint, California’s Sacramento Valley is truly unique. On the leading edge of ecological and economical sustainability, it’s also an exceptional place to live, work, and raise a family.

The Sacramento Valley joins together a world-renowned mosaic of natural and human abundance: productive farmlands, teeming wildlife refuges and managed wetlands, the largest salmon runs south of the Columbia River, dynamic rural and urban communities, and life-giving rivers and creeks that support it all.

Opinion: What if Farmers Really Could Use 50% Less Water? Arizona Would Be a Different Place

What if farmers could use half the water than they are now without sacrificing crop yield?

Arizona would be a different place.

There are roughly 946,000 acres of farmland in the state, according to the most recent federal farm census in 2018, using an estimated 4.4 million acre-feet of water.

Opinion: How California Can Solve Its Growing Water Crisis

With snowpack and storage at historic lows, California and 95% of the West are suffering the worst drought in modern history. Marin and Santa Clara counties have imposed mandatory cutbacks, and other counties are considering the same. However painful, it is time for California to move quickly. Here are the steps — starting with the least intrusive and least expensive — that state and local government need to take now to avoid the dystopia that Cape Town, South Africa, endured in 2018 when the faucets ran dry.

Opinion: Water Markets Can Help Bring California’s Groundwater Into Balance

The San Joaquin Valley town of Corcoran is sinking. It’s fallen as much as 11.5 feet in some places, damaging drinking wells, changing the town’s flood zones and undermining critical infrastructure. The story is so dramatic that the New York Times covered it recently. The culprit here, though, is no ordinary villain – it’s the overpumping of groundwater.