News & Insights

Get insights and analysis from Water in the West researchers as well as the latest news about new Stanford water research and events focusing on western water issues.

August 21, 2015  | Water in the West  | Insights

After three years of severe drought, the California legislature passed the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act of 2014, which creates a statewide framework for groundwater regulation. This legislation came into effect on January 1, 2015, and presents local water agencies with significant opportunities and challenges. Those challenges and potential solutions were the topic of a 2015 Uncommon...

August 21, 2015  | Water in the West  | Insights

Leslie Willoughby

Surface water managers are increasingly turning to “enhanced decision support tools," models that are specifically designed to resolve disputes and help reach consensus based decisions.   But similar technologies have only recently come into play for making effective groundwater decisions. A new grant will fund a study of the role that data and models play in...

August 20, 2015  | Water in the West  | Insights

Leslie Willoughby

What role can federal agencies play in fostering drought resilience? Water in the West outlined forward thinking strategies to prepare for, manage and respond to drought over the long haul during a recent interagency symposium held in Washington, D.C. The National Drought Resilience Partnership invited Stanford water law experts Barton “Buzz” Thompson and Leon Szeptycki ...

August 07, 2015  | Water in the West  | Insights

Leslie Willoughby

Challenges in the use of water continue to grow with changes in weather, climate and population. As guest editors of the journal Dædalus, Stanford Professors Anna Michalak and Chris Field frame these challenges within a context of the decisions they call for and the emerging opportunities they offer. The journal assembles related concepts from water experts, ...

July 09, 2015  | Stanford News Service  | News

Stanford Woods Institute for the Environment jump-starts interdisciplinary projects around the world. Collaborative decision-making for a sustainable groundwater future to be studied by Janet Martinez (Law) and Rosemary Knight (Geophysics).

June 01, 2015  | Water in the West  | Insights

Janny Choy, Research Analyst, Water in the West

As California struggles through its fourth year of drought, it is worth remembering that other parts of the West are much drier than California and have been coping with water shortages for decades.  As the first state in the country to pass a comprehensive set of groundwater regulations in 1980, Arizona offers a potentially useful lens for its western neighbors managing increasing water...

May 19, 2015  | Stanford News Service  | News

Stanford economist Frank Wolak is creating a customer-level water demand model that can be used to design tiered water rate schedules in drought-ridden California.

May 06, 2015  | Water in the West  | Insights

Anne Castle, Landreth Visiting Scholar, Water in the West

The Western U.S. has a water problem: the ongoing drought is not only unprecedented, it looks increasingly like the new normal. While demand for water continues to grow, climate change is causing supplies to dwindle. We need to take aggressive steps now toward solving this imbalance and protecting the vibrant economies of our arid landscapes. Multiple efforts and resources are being brought to...

April 24, 2015  | Water in the West  | Insights

Janny Choy, Research Analyst, Water in the West

Tiered water pricing is a critical tool used by water utilities to incentivize conservation. To help address the severe drought California is facing today, Governor Brown recently issued an executive order mandating 25% reductions in water use by municipal water providers. The order also recognized that tiered pricing structures encourage water conservation and called for more utilities to adopt...

April 02, 2015  | Water in the West  | Insights

Stanford News Service

The snowpack in California's mountains is at the lowest level ever recorded. The long-term effects of the drought could be devastating. Frank Gehrke, left, chief of the California Cooperative Snow Surveys Program for the Department of Water Resources, points to a mark on the snow pack measuring pole that was the lowest previous snow pack level, as Gov. Jerry Brown, center, and Mark Cowin,...