Newsom’s water framework is imperfect but necessary. The alternative is further deterioration of the Delta

Jeffrey Mount and Ellen Hanak
Mount and Hanak are Senior Fellows at the Public Policy Institute of California

Gov. Gavin Newsom has put forward a framework for managing water and habitat in the Delta and its watershed. As far as we can tell, no one is very happy with the framework—and that may be a good sign. The framework is the product of years of effort to negotiate an agreement among water users, […]

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Drought Watch: Priorities for Cities and Farms

Jeffrey Mount and Ellen Hanak
Mount and Hanak are Senior Fellows at the Public Policy Institute of California

A spate of recent news articles have reinforced what most Californians already know: the state is locked in a grim drought, with unusually warm temperatures and near-record low snowpack. Since this is the fourth consecutive dry year, reserves are low and water scarcity will be acute in some farming regions and watersheds. In our new […]

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Groundwater Bills: Crises as Catalyst for Policy Change

Jeffrey Mount and Ellen Hanak
Mount and Hanak are Senior Fellows at the Public Policy Institute of California

Yesterday Governor Brown signed three bills that require portions of the state to start managing groundwater sustainably. These bills are historic. Until today, California was the only western state that did not regulate groundwater, typically the source of more than one-third of the state’s supply, and much more during dry years. Why, after a century […]

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