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Water & the West

California Water on the Market: Q&A with Barton “Buzz” Thompson

Three months after the first market trades of California water futures, a conversation about economic forces and an essential material for life.Continue readingCalifornia Water on the Market: Q&A with Barton “Buzz” Thompson

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Agriculture & the West Water & the West

Small Farmers Wait for California’s Groundwater Hammer to Fall

Farmers, large and small, are beginning to grapple with what the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act means for them. Many expect to see cutbacks on pumping once the program is fully implemented in 2040.Continue readingSmall Farmers Wait for California’s Groundwater Hammer to Fall

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Water & the West

Putting a Tempest into a Teapot: Can California Better Use Winter Storms to Refill its Aquifers?

With new rules coming into effect, farmers and municipalities using groundwater must either find more water to support the aquifers or take cropland out of use. To ease the pain, engineers are looking to harness an unconventional and unwieldy source of water: the torrential storms that sometimes blast across the Pacific Ocean and soak California. Continue readingPutting a Tempest into a Teapot: Can California Better Use Winter Storms to Refill its Aquifers?

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Water & the West

As California’s Groundwater Free-for-All Ends, Gauging What’s Left

New rules and new technology are giving farmers and managers a better look at groundwater supplies.Continue readingAs California’s Groundwater Free-for-All Ends, Gauging What’s Left

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Water & the West

To Manage Groundwater, California Must First Get Basin Boundaries Right

A vineyard in Paso Robles.    Mattyshack via Flickr By Felicity Barringer A hidden treasure, groundwater has long sustained agriculture through California’s cycles of drought. Decades ago, state water officials started researching the geological formations that hold groundwater. By the 1950s, hydrogeologists had created an atlas showing the boundaries of more than 500 groundwater basins or…Continue readingTo Manage Groundwater, California Must First Get Basin Boundaries Right