California is in a conundrum. Water stakeholders need certainty in their water deliveries, the consistency of available drinkable water is missing many of the disadvantaged communities, new water projects are needed, possibly 1,000,000 acres of farmland may be removed from production in central portions of California, a primary California water conveyance utilizes the largest inland estuary on the west coast of North American, alluvial aquifers in 127 water basins are diminishing and funding is insufficient for correcting these issues within the needed time period. During all this drama, daily water and food needs of40 million Californians must be met every day.
How can water management adjustments produce more successes, more quickly? California uses the Prior Appropriative Doctrine. California manages some groundwater areas by adjudication and is now beginning to develop goals required by the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act of 2014. These are good things but more adaptable approaches are needed to facilitate quick water adjustments throughout the year. It is time to explore new management strategies that will generate the needed funding and complete the projects that address changing annual snow packs, groundwater, conveyance, treatment and storage.
Go to the Operation Unite Resource page, scroll down to Links for Water Management strategies and Ideas Professor Michael Young’s ideas for California. It is working in Australia. It has merit in specific California watersheds. Tell us what you think?