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Environmental Action Guide 2020

PSA: Water Issues in California 2020

Voter guide by Marisol Castro, Kyle Rosenfeld, and Vincent Posadas.

Overview

This video provides a story/timeline of the water issues in California. Starting from colonizers negative impact on the indigenous people’s water management methods, to the contamination and pollution from gold rush mining. In the present time, water diversion for municipal and agricultural use as California continues to grow in population faces more issues. Groundwater reliance increases, land subsidence occurs due to the ground water pumping. To conclude, current policies and desired policies with its positive outcomes are examined.

Reading Room

Want to learn more? Here are books from our collection related to this topic.

Introduction to Water in California

This thoroughly engaging, concise book tells the story of California's most precious resource, tracing the journey of water in the state from the atmosphere to the snowpack to our faucets and foods. Along the way, we learn much about California itself as the book describes its rivers, lakes, wetlands, dams, and aqueducts and discusses the role of water in agriculture, the environment, and politics. Essential reading in a state facing the future with an overextended water supply, this fascinating book shows that, for all Californians, every drop counts.

Sustainable Water: Challenges and Solutions from California

Water scarcity, urban population growth, and deteriorating infrastructure are impacting water security around the globe. Struggling with the most significant drought in its recorded history, California faces all of these challenges to secure reliable water supplies for the future. The unfolding story of California water includes warnings and solutions for any region seeking to manage water among the pressures of a dynamic society and environment. Written by leading policy makers, lawyers, economists, hydrologists, ecologists, engineers, and planners, Sustainable Water reaches across disciplines to address problems and solutions for the sustainable use of water in urban areas.

The Water Problem: Climate Change and Water Policy in the United States

Building water resilience is the single biggest challenge in a changing global climate. The United States faces a water crisis as critical as the energy crisis that once dominated headlines. Like the energy crisis, a solution can be found. Pat Mulroy, for many years general manager of the Southern Nevada Water Authority, the lead negotiator on the Colorado River for the State of Nevada, and a Brookings fellow, has gathered a number of practitioners and scholars to show us why we face a crisis caused by climate change and what we can do to alleviate it. While the focus recently has been on California, with its water restrictions and drought, many other parts of the United States are also suffering from current and potential water shortages that will only be exacerbated by climate change. The Water Problem takes us to Miami and the problem of rising oceans fouling freshwater reservoirs; Kansas and Nebraska, where intensive farming is draining age-old aquifers; and to the Southwest United States, where growing populations are creating enormous stresses on the already strained Colorado River. Mulroy and her contributors explore not just the problems, but also what we can do now to put in place measures to deal with a very real crisis.

Water and the California Dream

Imported water has transformed the Golden State's environment and quality of life. Land ownership patterns and real estate boosterism dramatically altered both urban and rural communities across the entire state. Using first-person voices of Californians to reveal the resulting changes, Carle concludes that now is the time to stop drowning the California Dream. With extensive use of oral histories, contemporary newspaper articles and autobiographies, Carle provides a rich exploration of the historic changes in California, as imported water shaped patterns of growth and development. In this thoroughly revised edition, Carle brings that history up to date, as water choices remain the primary tool for shaping California's future. In a land where climate change is exacerbating the challenges of a naturally dry region, the state's damaged environment and reduced quality of life can be corrected, Carle argues, if Californians step out of the historic pattern and embrace limited water supplies as a fact of life.

The Water Sensitive City

This book advocates a more thoughtful approach to urban water management. The approach involves reducing water consumption, harvesting rainwater, recycling rainwater and adopting Sustainable Drainage Systems (SuDS) where surface water is not sent straight to drains but is intercepted by features like green roofs, rain gardens, swales and ponds.Cities in particular need to change the existing linear model of water consumption and use to a more circular one in order to survive. The Water Sensitive City brings together the various specialised technical discussions that have been continuing for some time into a volume that is more accessible to designers (engineers and architects), urban planners and managers, and policymakers.

Using Graywater and Stormwater to Enhance Local Water Supplies

Using Graywater and Stormwater to Enhance Local Water Supplies analyzes the risks, costs, and benefits on various uses of graywater and stormwater. This report examines technical, economic, regulatory, and social issues associated with graywater and stormwater capture for a range of uses, including non-potable urban uses, irrigation, and groundwater recharge. Using Graywater and Stormwater to Enhance Local Water Supplies considers the quality and suitability of water for reuse, treatment and storage technologies, and human health and environmental risks of water reuse. The findings and recommendations of this report will be valuable for water managers, citizens of states under a current drought, and local and state health and environmental agencies.