News & Press Releases

Follow the latest news about Water in the West and the latest about western water. 


Concrete Oasis

“No one ever expected that Las Vegas would be what it is today,” says Buzz Thompson, an environmental law expert at Stanford Law School. Yet, curiously, that limited supply may help to explain why Las Vegas is coping relatively well.

Published: Saturday, August 8, 2015 Source: The Economist
A Once-Flourishing Pima Cotton Industry Withers in an Arid California

“The valley’s two groundwater basins are probably the most over-drafted here in California,” said Tara Moran, head of the Sustainable Groundwater division at Stanford University’s Water in the West program. “Ultimately, people will have to make a decision about what kind of farming California can sustain.”

Published: Friday, August 7, 2015 Source: New York Times
The Future of Groundwater in California

What is the future of groundwater in California? "Groundwater recharge is likely to play a large role in sustainable management of the resource," said Tara Moran, research associate with Water in the West.

Published: Monday, July 27, 2015 Source: California Academy of Sciences
California's Missing Water Fell On Boston Instead, As Snow

"If I look at the key risks for New England going forward, based on the most recent climate change projections, I think risks from heavy rainfall — especially rainfall associated with hurricanes — profound risks,” says Chris Field, senior fellow with the Stanford Woods Institute for the Environment. Some wonder whether water could be moved to drought-stricken areas, but Dick Luthy of the Engineer Research Center for Urban Water Infrastructure at Stanford, says it takes a lot of energy to move substantial amounts of water across long distances.

Published: Monday, July 13, 2015 Source: WGBH
Stanford grant programs enable researchers to tackle major environmental challenges

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).

Published: Thursday, July 9, 2015 Source: Stanford News Service
A law professor explains California's 'arcane' water rights system

California water law is unique in the West and perhaps the world, explains Stanford law professor Buzz Thompson, Director of the Woods Institute for the Environment.

Published: Monday, July 6, 2015 Source: Take Two, 89.3 KPCC
Drought: history and future

Changes in the legal system could help address future drought. David M. Kennedy lays out history, Barton “Buzz” Thompson offers legal perspectives, and Noah Diffenbaugh considers climate change, with other panelists at Aspen Ideas Festival.

Published: Monday, June 29, 2015 Source: Aspen Ideas Festival
Master-planned community at risk of losing all water within days

Fifteen thousand thirsty people seek new water source after California water board curtails water rights. Barton “Buzz” Thompson reveals who has the upper hand when water rights clash with public health and safety.

Published: Thursday, June 18, 2015 Source: Los Angeles Times
Who’s to blame during California drought? Basically everyone

If everyone’s to blame for the drought, then everyone can take part in responding. Newsha Ajami explains how.

Published: Thursday, June 18, 2015 Source: SFGate
Stanford professor developing water usage model that could help California meet conservation goals

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.

Published: Tuesday, May 19, 2015 Source: Stanford News Service
California Drought Threatens Even Oldest Water Rights

California's first come, first served, water-rights system is about to be tested. Prof Barton "Buzz" Thompson weighs in.

Published: Thursday, May 14, 2015 Source: MarketPlace
Sustainability group highlights drought: Seminar attracts experts, public to discuss county water issues

Newsha Ajami speaks about water pricing options, California’s policies and what is needed for long-term water security at Sustainable San Mateo County's Indicators Launch Event.

Published: Friday, May 1, 2015 Source: The Daily Journal
Water-wasting fines of $10,000 proposed by Gov. Jerry Brown

Leon Szeptycki: Gov. Brown’s proposed fines for egregious water wasters are an effort to get people’s attention to reduce water use.

Published: Tuesday, April 28, 2015 Source: San Jose Mercury News
Lessons from Australia's 17-year Drought

As California continues to deal with a drought, a study predicts that the state will only get dryer. How will it adapt? Here & Now’s Jeremy Hobson speaks with Rebecca Nelson, a senior fellow at the University of Melbourne School of Law, about policies and laws that Australia put in place during its 17-year drought.

Published: Thursday, April 23, 2015 Source: Here and Now
Drying Up: The Race to Save California From Drought

Newsha Ajami on the factors affecting the cost of desalination.

Published: Thursday, April 23, 2015 Source: Newsweek