California Archives - Page 2 of 3 - State of the Planet

Safety Be Dammed: High-Risk Dams on the Rise

In the still hours just before midnight on March 12, 1928, thousands of people slumbered in the handful of agricultural communities nestled along the Santa Clara River in Ventura County, California. Tony Harnischfeger and his family slept quietly in a small house at the foot of the St. Francis Dam, a 195-foot high concrete gravity… read more

by |September 9, 2011

Walking the Tightrope of Groundwater Management

As climate changes and supplying water becomes more challenging, one company says it has a better management strategy.

by |August 29, 2011

Cooling the Former Frontier: Using Water to Save Energy

AC units have become more efficient over the years, but energy consumption during hot summer months can increase significantly, boosting both the amount of money spent on electricity and the volume of greenhouse gasses emitted in the energy production process.

by |July 25, 2011

Toxic Waters in the Gilded State

To those who have never been, the Golden State is known for luxurious palm tree-lined avenues, sun-drenched beaches, and picturesque mountains. But not all parts of California were created equal. The state’s San Joaquin Valley hosts a scene entirely different from the images of Malibu beaches depicted in travel brochures. It is the non-glittering core… read more

by |June 16, 2011

Of Earthquakes and Nuclear Reactors

As Japan’s nuclear meltdown catastrophe continues in the wake of the March 11 magnitude 9.0 earthquake and tsunami, Japanese power company executives and officials face an increasingly challenging situation. Tuesday morning, Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO) — the company operating the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant — dumped more than 11,000 gallons of radioactive seawater into… read more

by |April 6, 2011

Water and Energy – an Integrated Approach

In the news, electricity and resource use seems to get the most exposure – people are looking at emissions, global warming, and oil and coal dependence.  One thing that is for certain is that electricity use needs to decrease if we are to decreased our dependence on oil, our CO2 emissions, and become a greener… read more

by |May 20, 2010

A Truce in the California Water Wars

Nationally, the California Water Wars have been something people have been following for months.  As discussed by Water Center expert Tanya Heikkila in her September blog post “California’s other crisis,”  the state’s reservoirs had been significantly depleted and fights had been breaking out all over the state about who deserved water the most – farmers,… read more

by |March 1, 2010

California’s other crisis

The “Golden” State doesn’t seem so golden these days. LA’s recent wildfires and Sacramento’s recent budget crises have left a dark cloud hanging over the state. Compounding the state’s financial woes and charred image is a problem potentially even more challenging: drought. Since 2000, the state’s reservoirs have been depleted and current climate change projections… read more

by |September 10, 2009

Water-Energy Dependency May Put a Damper on Water Banking in California

We’ve been following some of the issues related to the drought in California. In response to water shortages, a “water bank” has been implemented to allow users who do not use all of their water to sell it to other users. In theory, such a system allows water to be used in an efficient manner,… read more

by |June 10, 2009

California’s Water Bank – A Bank With Nothing to Lend?

California is in some serious trouble as a result of continued drought conditions and is looking to bail itself out through the creation of a water banking system. In California, this would mean buying water from owners in the northern part of the state and transferring it to water-starved areas in the south. This makes… read more

by |March 27, 2009