Tuesday, May 19, 2015

California's water paradox -- new article up at The Conversation

California never ceases to amaze. The Trinity Alps, photo by me.

My colleague Doug Parker and I have a new article up at The Conversation that expands on some of the concepts explored in my previous blog post -- namely that when it comes to water in California, enough will never be enough. Here we go a bit further in articulating that strategies for contending with that kind of paradox come down to more of a significant paradigm shift than a solutions mindset.

One of my favorite parts of the article is the last paragraph:
"Californians have always accepted, and at times even embraced, the uncertain nature of life in this beautiful, diverse state. From the boom and bust of the Gold Rush to a new population living on the fault lines, California’s uncertainty is built into our lives. Drought is no different. We will always face times when water is scarce, so we must optimize water use while accepting uncertainty as an integral part of the California lifestyle. There is no solution to drought, only a change in our way of thinking about water and drought."
It's been a challenging time to work on water in California as sometimes the doom and gloom and warning of the impending apocalypse can be overwhelming. But, it stands in sharp contrast to my daily experience of the stunning beauty that we are lucky enough to be immersed in every day. There is no doubt that there is a great deal of suffering involved as well, but I absolutely love this place, and hope that sentiment shines through.

1 comment:

  1. One strategy would be to Stop protecting a handful of fish, which are an invasive species to begin with, and which is costing 400,000 acre-feet of water a year that could be used much more wisely elsewhere.