News & Insights: Urban Water

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.

September 29, 2015  | Water in the West  | Insights

Rob Jordan

A new report from Water in the West explores how Western states can increase water rights transfers to maintain healthy flows for ecosystems while benefiting water rights holders. “Environmental Water Rights Transfers: A Review of State Laws” is the product of a Stanford Law School practicum that Water in the West Executive Director Leon Szeptycki taught in partnership with the...

September 23, 2015  | Water in the West  | Insights

Jacqueline Peel

By Jacqueline Peel, Visiting Scholar, Water in the West Natural disasters such as hurricanes, floods and wildfires are often thought of as “Acts of God.” However, the disaster management community increasingly recognizes that few disasters are purely “natural” in origin. For instance, land-use decisions that allow people to build (and rebuild) homes in floodplains contribute to flood damage; and...

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, ...

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,...

March 19, 2015  | Water in the West  | Insights

Janny Choy, Research Analyst, Water in the West

  On March 4, 2015, Water in the West hosted a panel of three Stanford experts to discuss the ongoing California drought, including causes, policy implications, and potential responses.   Despite a promising start to the rainy season, dry conditions have prevailed through most of California in the past three months.  A fourth year of drought is more and more likely with each...

March 16, 2015  | Stanford Woods Institute for the Environment  | News

Water in the West researchers compile best practices, forward solutions to ensure enough water is available for natural systems and people. This story is part of a series about Stanford researchers developing solutions to water supply and access challenges affecting billions of people.