What is in this article?:
- Experts call for major reforms in California water management
- Fragmentation a major weakness
- California's water management system is deteriorating — on both economic and environmental fronts. Only a broad, integrative approach will reverse the decline.
- "California must take bold steps to make water management more effective environmentally and economically," says co-author Jay Lund, a UC Davis professor of environmental engineering, director of the watershed sciences center and an adjunct fellow at the policy institute.
Fragmentation a major weakness
A major weakness of California's water system is fragmentation — hundreds of local and regional agencies separately manage supply, quality, floods and habitat, according to the report. To avoid confusion and missed opportunities, the authors propose creating regional stewardship authorities — on the scale of watersheds — to coordinate functions.
In addition to Lund, the co-authors are Ellen Hanak, PPIC; Richard Howitt, Jeffrey Mount and Peter Moyle, UC Davis; Ariel Dinar, UC Riverside; Brian Gray, UC Hastings College of the Law; and Barton "Buzz" Thompson, Stanford University Law School.
This book continues earlier UC Davis and PPIC collaborations that explored proposed solutions to the Delta's problems, such as "Comparing Futures for the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta" in 2008.
"Managing California's Water: From Conflict to Reconciliation" is published by the PPIC and supported with funding from the S.D. Bechtel Jr. Foundation, David and Lucile Packard Foundation, Pisces Foundation, Resources Legacy Fund, and Santa Ana Watershed Project Authority.
On Wednesday, March 2, the book will be the subject of a Washington, D.C., seminar that can be viewed online. Lund, Hanak and others will discuss new approaches to balancing economic and environmental goals for water management. The webcast begins at 9:45 a.m. Pacific time.