Presentation on theme: "Water in California: Self-induced Scarcity Waterscape International Group."— Presentation transcript:
Water in California: Self-induced Scarcity Waterscape International Group
Perceptions Do you think California is a drought prone state? Why? What is the most pressing water quality or quantity dilemma? What scales of analysis are useful for understanding water in California? How can we measure the effect of water diversions on ecosystems? What groups should have the burden of meeting water needs? What technological fixes might help reduce scarcity?
Objective California is well-endowed with water, yet faces shortages. Why? How can this be remedied? How does this relate to environmental science?
Overview Natural Setting of California Water Use in the State Water Distribution (Central Valley and State Water Projects) Roots of Scarcity Quality Intermingled Options for the Future
Agricultural and Urban Water Use Statistics Domestic consumption of groundwater & surface water = 3 MAF and 3 MAF, respectively. Agricultural consumption of groundwater & surface water = 12.2 MAF and 19.5 MAF, respectively.
Central Valley Project Facts 400 miles, from the Cascade Mountains near Redding to the Tehachapi Mountains near Bakersfield 20 dams and reservoirs, 11 powerplants, and 500 miles of major canals 9 million acre-feet of water annually managed Annually delivers about 7 million acre-feet 5 million acre-feet for farms 600,000 acre-feet for municipal use 5.6 billion kilowatt hours of electricity (~2 million people) 800,000 acre-feet per year to fish and wildlife and their habitat and 410,00 acre-feet to State and Federal wildlife refuges and wetlands (CVPIA, 1992)
State Water Project Facts 1973-Store water and distribute it to 29 urban and agricultural water suppliers in Northern California, the San Francisco Bay Area, the San Joaquin Valley, and Southern California. Water quality in the Delta, control Feather River flood waters, provide recreation, and enhance fish and wildlife. 32 storage facilities, reservoirs and lakes; 17 pumping plants; 3 pumping-generating plants; 5 hydroelectric power plants; and about 660 miles of open canals and pipelines. Supplemental water to approximately 20 million Californians and about 660,000 acres of irrigated farmland.
Consequences What are some of the consequences for the environment of this distribution system?
Part 3 Factors complicating the allocation of water among agricultural, domestic, and environmental uses
The Problem: 7 Reasons to Worry Water allocation system is inflexible Population Growth Federal Endangered Species Act Federal Clean Water Act Colorado River 4.4 MAF Normal Climate Variability Long-term Climate Variability
Water Allocation California Doctrine (Appropriation and Riparian Rights) Permits to surface water Permits to groundwater
Federal Regulations Clean Water Act Section 303(d): Total Maximum Daily Loads for “impaired waters” Source Water Protection Endangered Species Act Critical habitat protections Salmon
Climate Variability Normal climate variability Anthropogenic climate forcing
The Result Need more water for regulatory purposes Difficult to adjust allocations Groundwater is not permitted or even accounted Et increased due to irrigation flow decreased reduced assimilative capacity
Part 4 Case Study: Selenium Toxicity at Kesterson Reservoir