This research brief is based on the paper: “Salinity of deep groundwater in California: Water quantity, quality, and protection,” published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States, June 2016. The authors explain that accounting for deep groundwater can substantially expand California’s groundwater resources. However, if activity continues to increase, further studies are needed to explore subsidence and other potentially undesirable results caused by the use of deeper groundwater.
After decades of dysfunction that have exacerbated chronic water problems, California is on the cusp of a new era due to historic groundwater legislation. However, meeting the law’s goals will require overcoming stubborn systemic obstacles, according to a report by researchers at Stanford’s Water in the West program and the Gould Center for Conflict Resolution at the Stanford Law School.
This research authored by Mary Kang and Robert Jackson looks at deep groundwater in California, which is facing increased groundwater withdrawals, a growing population and a prolonged drought. The study finds that in the Central Valley alone, fresh groundwater volumes can be increased almost threefold, and useable groundwater volumes can be increased fourfold if depths are extended to 3,000 m. However, some of these deep groundwater resources are vulnerable to contamination from oil/gas and other activities.
Cross sector experts gathered at Stanford's Hopkins Marine Station in Fall 2015 to assess the role of ocean desalination in meeting California's increasing water needs. This report summarizes key takeaways from the event, including assessments of desalination's capacity, costs and potential impacts on coastal and marine ecosystems.
This research brief summarizes the paper's set of forward-looking policies to promote innovation in the water sector. The authors call for fundamental reforms in utilities' pricing of water, systematic reviews of regulatory practices, and a new mechanism for utilities to raise revenue to finance new infrastructure investment.
This Research Brief is based on "The Path to Water Innovation," by Newsha K. Ajami, Barton H. "Buzz" Thompson Jr. and David G. Victor, a discussion paper presented in October 2014 at "New Directions in U.S. Water Policy," a conference hosted by The Hamilton Project and Stanford Woods Institute for the Environment.
This Research Brief is based on "Tapping Into Alternative Ways to Fund Innovative and Multi-Purpose Water Projects: A Financing Framework from the Electricity Sector," a 2016 report issued by Water in the West program and the National Science Foundation's Engineering Research Center, Reinventing the Nation's Urban Water Infrastructure (ReNUWIT).
Stanford researcher Newsha Ajami testifies at the California Senate Natural Resource and Water oversight hearing on "Assessing California's Chronically Under Funded Water Needs: Options for Moving Forward."
Stanford researchers apply lessons learned from the electricity sector to the water sector, uncovering specific tools that have been used to fund and implement distributed energy projects. Through this exploration they create a financing and governance framework, highlighting mechanism applicable to the water sector.
Scholarly experts from Stanford University’s Water in the West program are available to comment on recent research related water, climate and drought.