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  • Dr. Jeffrey Mount, Senior Fellow Public Policy Institute of California

    California Water Issues: The Drought Edition

  • Floods, droughts and lawsuits: it’s the way we get things done

    Biologist: Peter Moyle, UC Davis Economists: Ellen Hanak, PPIC* Ariel Dinar, UC Riverside Richard Howitt, UC Davis Engineer: Jay Lund, UC Davis* Geologist: Jeffrey Mount, PPIC/UC Davis Lawyers: Brian Gray, UC Hastings Buzz Thompson, Stanford

    *Lead authors 2

    Supported with funding from S.D. Bechtel, Jr. Foundation, The David and Lucile Packard Foundation, Pisces Foundation, Resources Legacy Fund,

    Santa Ana Watershed Project Authority

  • Part 1: Understanding California Water

    § Surprisingly abundant

    § Extreme variation in space and time

    § Adaptation to climate extremes

    § Adapting to change

    3

  • Abundant Water, Diverse Climate and Geography

    4

  • Abundant Water, Diverse Climate and Geography

    5 Courtesy Mike Dettinger, USGS

  • Adaptation: Surface Storage

    6

  • Adaptation: Surface Storage

    7

  • Adaptation: Groundwater Storage

    8

    Faunt et al., 2009

  • Adaptation: Groundwater Storage

    9

    More than 70 MAF Overdraft in San Joaquin Valley

  • Adaptation: Distribution Systems

    10

  • Adaptation: Distribution Systems

    11

  • Adaptation: Distribution Systems

    12 The Weak Link: Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta

  • Adaptation: Ecosystems

    13

  • Adaptation: Ecosystems

    14

    7 7 7

    14 18 31

    50 53

    69

    44 38

    22

    0%

    10%

    20%

    30%

    40%

    50%

    60%

    70%

    80%

    90%

    100%

    1989 1995 2010

    Reasonably Secure Special Concern Listed

    Extinct

    California’s native freshwater fishes in decline

  • Adaptation: Change

    §  Changing Climate and Sea Level

    §  Changing Demand

    §  Changing Ecosystems

    15

    California Average Temperature January-September

  • Part II: From Drought to Myths

    •  Why Myths? •  Simplify issues

    •  Create “common knowledge based on common sense”

    •  Powerful communication tool

    •  Usually some basis in fact

    16

  • Myth 1: California is running out of water

    17

  • But Human Uses are Declining

    18

    0

    5

    10

    15

    20

    25

    30

    35

    40

    45

    1960 1967 1972 1980 1985 1990 1995 2000 2005 2010

    G ro

    ss w

    at er

    u se

    , m ill

    io n

    ac re

    fe et

    Total

    Agricultural

    Urban

  • Economic efficiency of water use continues to rise while use goes down

    19

    4 times higher

    2 times higher

    half as high

    Source: Data from DWR, DOF, and US Bureau of Economic Analysis (as cited in Hanak et al, Water and California’s Economy, 2012)

    0

    50

    100

    150

    200

    250

    300

    350

    400

    1967 1972 1977 1982 1987 1992 1997 2002 2007

    19 67

    = 1

    00

    State GDP per unit of water used

    State GDP per capita

    Water use per capita

  • We are not running out of water, just cheap water

    §  We are adapting to increasing scarcity

    §  We are increasing reliability in large urban areas

    §  But difficult adjustments ahead in agricultural sector as water prices rise

    20

  • Myth 2: We Can Conserve Our Way Out of CA’s Water Problems

    21

  • Reality: Conservation is important, but its effectiveness can be overstated

    •  New technology and changing water use habits will help, particularly in urban settings

    •  Farmers are becoming more economically efficient with water

    •  But conservation does not always yield “new” water, because “excess” water is often already reused

    22

    Large landscape

    11%

    Commercial 14%

    Industrial 6%

    Energy production

    2%

    Residential - interior

    34%

    Residential - exterior

    33%

    9.1 million acre feet

    Urban Use

  • Myth 3: Environmental regulation is causing California's water scarcity

    23 Delta Smelt

    Salmon

  • Depends on how you define “environmental water”

    Statewide Annual Gross Water Use by Sector Basis in Fact

    §  Half of water use is allocated to the environment

    §  Meeting habitat and water quality standards is a significant constraint

    §  The amount allocated to the environment has been increasing over the last 20+ years

    §  But….

    24

    Environment (Including

    North Coast)

    Agriculture

    Urban

    41 maf (50 %) 33 maf

    (40%)

    9 maf (10%)

  • Most environmental water doesn’t compete with other uses

    25

    0

    5

    10

    15

    20

    25

    30

    35

    40

    45

    50

    Central Valley Lahontan San Francisco Bay

    Central Coast South Coast Colorado River

    G ro

    ss w

    at er

    u se

    , m ill

    io n

    ac re

    fe et

    Environment

    Agriculture

    Urban

    20 maf (33%)

    32 maf (53%)

    8.5 maf (14%)

    Gross Water Use in the Interconnected Portions of California (excludes North Coast)

  • Myth 4: The California Craft Brewing Industry is Hosed (it’s time to move)

    26

    Lake Oroville

  • No You’re Not (i.e. don’t move)

    §  Urban breweries tend to have the most resilient supplies (albeit growing in cost)

    §  North Coast region traditionally wet (but occasionally unreliable)

    §  Greatest risk is for rural breweries lacking diversified water portfolio

    §  Wastewater an issue for everyone

    27

    Ritchie, 2012

  • Craft Brewer’s California Water Footprint (NOTE: Preliminary estimates only)

    §  Not Very Much*: –  3M bbl = 93M gal –  6 gal/gal processing =

    558M gal –  Total 651M gal/year =

    2003 acre-ft

    §  Compare Water Use: –  Per capita 150 gal/day =

    1/6 acre-ft/year –  Typical acre crop uses 3(+/-)

    acre-ft/year

    §  Equivalent Usage: –  12,000 people –  640 acre almond orchard –  4.4 hours of LA water use

    28

    *data sources: Ritchie, 2012, T. McCormick pers comm.

  • But…Craft Brewers Total Water Footprint (NOTE: Preliminary estimates only)

    §  It’s a Pretty Big Number –  55 lbs of barley and 1.3 lbs

    hops/barrel = 169M lbs* –  Annual yield/acre = 1 ton** –  Water use = 2 acre-ft** 169,000 acre-ft = 590 gal/gal beer

    §  California craft brewers use enough water to supply a million people

    29 * T. McCormick pers. comm., ** UC Extension values

  • From myth to nuanced reality

    1.  California is not running out water, just cheap water.

    2.  We cannot conserve our way out of this problem, but it helps.

    3.  The environment is not taking all the water, but it is taking an increasing share.

    4.  You are not hosed. California is a great place for sustainable craft brewing and unlike most other industries, you import 99% of your water from out of state.

    30

  • Conclusion

    31

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