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Water in the West

‘Pumped Dry:’ Behind the Knight-Risser Prize Winning Series on Groundwater

At the Knight-Risser Prize Symposium on Jan. 25, Ian James, an environment reporter for the Palm Springs based Desert Sun, talked about a growing crisis in groundwater supplies. James worked with colleagues at the Desert Sun and USA Today to put together a dramatic, globe-spanning series about groundwater overdraft, which was the winner of the 2016 Knight-Risser Prize for Western Environmental Journalism.

Presentations from California Groundwater Briefing in Sacramento

Scholars working with Water in the West discussed their latest research on groundwater and the implications for the future of California’s water. Held in Sacramento on Sept. 27, 2016, the panel informed state and local level policy and decision makers on such issues as implementation of the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act (SGMA), water quality and availability, and new data collection techniques.

From the Ground Down: Understanding Local Groundwater Data Collection and Sharing Practices in California

After decades of dysfunction that have exacerbated chronic water problems, historic groundwater legislation has brought California to the cusp of a new era of water management. Meeting the law’s goals will require overcoming stubborn systemic obstacles, according to a new report by Water in the West and the Gould Center for Conflict Resolution, Stanford Law School.

The Utility of Surfers’ Wave Knowledge for Coastal Management

This study investigates the local knowledge of surfers through two surveys of more than one thousand California surfers and promulgates, based on survey data, a formal definition of surfers’ local knowledge as "wave knowledge." In so doing, this study makes the case that wave knowledge can be used to inform coastal management decision-making in those situations where wave resources, and thus the growing stakeholder group of surfers, could possibly be affected.

Overcoming Psychological Resistance toward Using Recycled Water as a Solution to California's Climate Change Challenge

California’s traditional hydrological system assumes a heavy, reliable snowpack and the timely release of surface water in the warmer months.   However as a consequence of climate change and a prolonged drought, California must now consider alternative water supply sources such as recycled wastewater. But state officials fear that a proposal to expand direct or indirect potable use wastewater programs would trigger strong public resistance due to the ‘yuck’ factor, an instinctive aversion to many recycled wastewater uses.

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