Happy World Toilet Day!


For Billions of People, Sanitary Facilities Are No Laughing Matter

It may seem silly to observe World Toilet Day, but as the motto of the World Toilet Organization (which was founded on November 19, 2001) reads: it’s no joke. Literally billions of people lack proper toilet facilities, and it can have severe impacts. Consider this recent testimony from a woman who grew up without one: To […]

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Dueling California Drought Relief Bills Debated on Capitol Hill

Dry fields and bare trees at Panoche Road, looking west, on Wednesday February 5, 2014, near San Joaquin, CA.  (California WaterBlog)

Stark Differences Emerge Between Competing House and Senate Bills

What can and should the federal government do to assist the State of California in weathering the worst drought in recorded state history? While the U.S. House of Representatives is embroiled in a chaotic political debate over selection of a new House Speaker, the more deliberate consideration of new legislation continues apace in the Senate. […]

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California and Other Western States See Barriers to Protecting Streams

By National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

A new report highlights twelve western states' efforts to restore stream flows using environmental water transfers

Unnaturally low flows in rivers and streams throughout the western United States have threatened fish and other aquatic species for decades. But restoring flows has proved a significant and complex challenge. A recent report prepared for the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation by Stanford University’s Water in the West Program documents twelve western states’ efforts […]

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Registration Opens for 2015 Yosemite Conference–The Nation’s Top Environmental Law Event

Yosemite brochure

This Year's Yosemite Conference Promises to Continue a Tradition of Excellence

Registration is now open for the 2015 edition of the State Bar of California’s Environmental Law Conference at Yosemite.  That conference, held each fall, is unquestionably the premier environmental law-related event in California.  I would go so far as to argue that it’s actually the top such program in the entire United States. The Yosemite Conference […]

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California Governor Jerry Brown: Environmental Saint or Sinner?

Gov. Brown in Rome, July 2015, Associated Press

Brown's National & International Environmental Reputation Disputed by Some California Environmentalists

California Governor Jerry Brown has had a most eventful 2015, especially when it comes to environmental policy.  He started the year fresh from an overwhelming election victory last November, earning him an unprecedented fourth term as California’s chief executive.  Brown began 2015 by declaring a state drought emergency and becoming California’s “educator-in-chief,” repeatedly warning state […]

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The Coal Mining Stream Buffer Rule Evokes Firestorm of Protest. #getagrip


Political polarization has gotten to the point where there would be immediate denunciations if the President issued a proclamation honoring apple pie. Another intrusion into consumer choice, besmirching those who prefer cherry and pumpkin!  Another blatant overreach by an out-of-control, incipient tyrant!  Not only is every executive action accompanied by loud resistance, but the same explosion of […]

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Tragedy of the Commons–California Drought-Style


State Farmers Planting New Almond Orchards Despite Critical Water Shortages

Traveling through California’s drought-striken San Joaquin Valley repeatedly over the past year, I’ve been surprised and disheartened to see that Valley farmers continue to convert their agricultural fields to newly-planted almond orchards.  (My anecdotal observations have been confirmed by various recent press accounts.)  This development is a striking, current example of Garrett Hardin’s Tragedy of […]

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Sacramento Judge Halts California Regulator’s Efforts to Impose Water Cutbacks

Court Rules Water Board's Administrative Process Violates Water Users' Due Process Rights

A Sacramento judge has thrown a wrench into the California State Water Resources Control Board’s efforts to impose water cutbacks on several of the state’s senior water rights holders.  In a July 10th order, Superior Court Judge Shelleyanne Chang ruled that the Water Board’s administrative process, designed to implement drought-based water reductions, violates the due […]

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Could a Riparian Conservation Network increase the ecological resilience of public lands?


A new article suggests river corridors could leverage existing policies to build habitat connectivity

As we try to protect biological diversity for the future, a perpetual challenge is ensuring that the strategies we adopt today will continue to work in the face of changing conditions. How can we design conservation approaches that will be resilient in the face of environmental challenges that will only become more severe in coming years? […]

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A Water Rights Database For California’s Future


A proposal to modernize information for management of water resources

In April, a group of us (Richard Roos-Collins, Michael Kiparsky, Nell Green Nylen, Michael Hanemann, and Holly Doremus) wrote a document arguing for the need to develop a more complete and functional source of legal information on California’s water rights. Since then, this proposal has been circulated widely among the California water community. In the spirit of […]

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