Water

Hail to the Chief: John Roberts and the WOTUS Rule

He's Big In Beijing

Roberts virtually bemoaned the lack of a rulemaking. Now he's got what he wanted.

The government issued a long-awaited Waters of the United States rule (WOTUS for short).  No doubt there will be much gnashing of teeth about the issuance of the rule — a very safe bet since the gnashers of teeth got going long before the rule was actually issued.  But one person who should be happy […]

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Immanuel Kant and the California Water Crisis

Immanuel Kant: How Categorical!

How Should Individuals Decide How Much Water to Use?

Last week’s rain in southern California will hardly make a dent in the state’s devastating drought, and it raises an important question for individual consumers: exactly how should we decide how much water to use? There are obvious things: don’t hose down your driveway, take shorter showers, do full loads in the washer. But there […]

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The Battle to Restore Hetch Hetchy Valley Moves to the Courts

Hetch Hetchy Valley in early 1900's, Before Valley's Inundation

New Lawsuit Claims Dam and Reservoir in Yosemite National Park Violate California Constitution

This week, the longstanding battle over the dam and reservoir that have for a century flooded Yosemite National Park’s storied Hetch Hetchy Valley moves to the courts. A new lawsuit, filed by conservationists on the 177th anniversary of  John Muir’s birth, asserts that the City of San Francisco’s continued operation of O’Shaughnessy Dam and Hetch Hetchy Reservoir […]

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Yogi Berra Explains the Mono Lake Case

Yogi Berra

Or -- Timing Is Everything

As part of the book I am writing on the Mono Lake case, one question stands out: how was the Mono Lake Committee able to assemble the resources to bring a lawsuit against the powerful Los Angeles Department of Water and Power? At one level, the answer is obvious: it found a Sugar Daddy, in […]

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Los Angeles Releases First-Ever Urban Sustainability “pLAn”

pLAn

Envisioning greener energy, cleaner air, and reduced consumption in LA by 2035

Perhaps no metropolis is better positioned than Los Angeles to pioneer ground-breaking environmental initiatives. As the second-largest U.S. city, and with the country’s largest municipally owned utility, a world-class research university–UCLA, and the blessings of abundant sunshine and a temperate Mediterranean climate, Los Angeles could serve as a global model for urban sustainability. Today, the […]

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It’s a Wonderful Law?

delta_smelt_by_metric_ruler_usfws

A thought experiment about the role of the ESA in California water management

[This post is co-authored by A. Dan Tarlock, Distguished Professor of Law, IIT Chicago-Kent College of Law.] Remember the movie “It’s a Wonderful Life,” which shows up on TV every year at Christmas season? In it George Bailey, played by Jimmy Stewart, gets a great gift from Clarence, an angel-in-training who intervenes as George is […]

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More on the Governor’s war on lawns

California Drought

The Executive Order misses some golden opportunities for the Golden State to get a handle on agricultural water use

As you no doubt know by now, on April Fools’ Day Governor Brown issued an executive order relying on his emergency powers to impose new statewide restrictions on water use. As has been widely noted in the media (for example by the L.A. Times and Sacramento Bee) and by our own Jonathan Zasloff, Executive Order […]

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Are California’s New Mandatory Water Restrictions an April Fool’s Day Joke?

Yippee! We win again!

It's Time to Pressure Alfalfa Growers to Stop Wasting Water

Now that Governor Brown has ordered the state’s first mandatory water restrictions, it’s important to keep one number in mind: one-sixth. That is the amount of California water that goes to one crop: alfalfa. It’s a pretty low value crop. And it is not even for human consumption directly; it is used for cattle feed. It […]

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Why Did Conservatives Support Saving Mono Lake?

Mono Lake

The Skillful -- and Lucky -- Alliance Between Locals and Environmentalists

A little more than a year ago, I asked how the Mono Lake Campaign succeeded.  I had previously suggested that a principal cause of the Mono Lake Committee’s success was the enemy: the arrogant, bullying, and reactionary Los Angeles Department of Water and Power. Everyone in the state “knew” that Los Angeles had “stolen” its […]

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Accelerating Cost-Effective Green Stormwater Infrastructure: Learning from Local Implementation

bike lane bioretention

A new Berkeley Law report

California decision makers focused on responding to the current drought might question whether stormwater deserves a slice of their attention right now. Although it might be tempting to relegate stormwater planning, management decisions, and infrastructure improvements to a back burner until drought concerns cool off, doing so would be counterproductive. Below, I explain why stormwater management is relevant […]

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