New groundwater survey, desalination report, water sector innovation
Spring/Summer 2016 


New Report Assesses Adequacy of Data Needed to Implement SGMA

After decades without statewide groundwater regulation, California is on the cusp of a new era due to historic groundwater legislation (SGMA). However, meeting the law’s goals will require improving how agencies collect and share data, according to a report by researchers at Stanford’s Water in the West program and the Gould Center for Conflict Resolution at the Stanford Law School. More ...

Marine & Coastal Impacts of Ocean Desalination Report

A new report finds that increasing freshwater supplies through desalination may prove critically important to specific coastal communities. But the technology is unlikely to significantly alter the basic water budget in California due to its high cost, energy demands and other factors, according to findings by cross-sector experts with Stanford, the Monterey Bay Aquarium and The Nature Conservancy.  More ...

New Research Briefs: Water Sector Innovation

Newsha Ajami, director of the Urban Water Policy Program with Water in the West, co-authored three new research briefs with Stanford Law Professor Barton “Buzz” Thompson to coincide with the first-ever White House Water Summit.  The briefs chart a path to water innovation. More …

Q&A on Impact Investing for the Water Sector with Margaret Bowman

In Spring 2016, Margaret Bowman, environmental consultant and former Water in the West Landreth Visiting Scholar, gave a talk entitled Using Private Capital to Drive Water Sustainability Solutions.  With no end in sight to the California drought, she is looking to water-focused impact investing as a possible way forward. More …

In The News


California’s Groundwater Sustainability Challenge

Water Deeply | June 30, 2016
Tara Moran, program lead for groundwater at Water in the West talks to Water Deeply about the newly released report on data challenges in implementing California’s groundwater law.

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Why Desalination Isn’t the Solution to Water Woes 

Water Deeply | June 3, 2016
Stanford University recently hosted a diverse roundtable discussion to explore whether seawater desalination can resolve California's water problems. Leon Szeptycki, Executive Director of Water in the West, helps us understand why the potential is limited.

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Energy Innovation Has Lessons for Water Sector

Water Deeply | March 31, 2016
Our traditional, centralized water systems aren’t going to go away any time soon, but as we modernize and upgrade our infrastructure we’ll need to also add smaller, distributed systems. Newsha Ajami talks about how to drive and fund this innovation.

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Why Hetch Hetchy is Staying Under Water

High Country News | May 30, 2016
A judge ruled in favor of San Francisco water needs over the valley’s restoration. Barton “Buzz” Thompson weighs in on the discussion.

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In Print


Calculating Groundwater Levels from Satellite Data

A new computer algorithm developed by Stanford researchers that can “fill in” underground water levels in areas where quality data is not available could lead to improved models of groundwater flow in regions with aquifer depletion.

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Salinity of Deep Groundwater in California: Water Quantity, Quality, and Protection

This research authored by Mary Kang, postdoctoral researcher in Environmental Earth Systems, and Robert Jackson, Senior Fellow at the Stanford Woods Institute for the Environment and Michelle and Kevin Douglas Provostial Professor at Stanford, looks at deep groundwater in California, which is facing increased groundwater withdrawals, a growing population and a prolonged drought.

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On the Road

Assessing California’s Chronically Under Funded Water Needs: Options for Moving Forward

Newsha Ajami testifies at the California Senate Natural Resource and Water Oversight Hearing.

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Water in the West Examines the Evolution of Water Governance

On March 29, 2016, Water in the West and the Bill Lane Center for the American West presented their work at the annual Association of American Geographers conference in San Francisco, CA.

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What We Are Reading

Killing the Colorado Series
Pro Publica

The Ongoing California Drought of 2012-2015: A Testbed for Understanding Regional Climate Extremes in a Warming World
Geophysical Research Letters

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