Video: Surplus and Shortage—California’s Water Balancing Act

Public Policy Institute of California

Julie Rentner of River Partners noted, the stakes for managing the increasingly flood-prone wet periods of our changing climate could not be higher. In 1997, the San Joaquin Valley was hit by a flood that broke the valley’s flood control system in 17 places. Climate projections show that a flood three to five times that magnitude “will likely hit the San Joaquin Valley in our lifetimes.” The damage, she said, would be incalculable. But California’s “new Central Valley flood-protection plan…takes a solid look at multi-benefit projects” that slow floods, recharge groundwater, and support habitat restoration.

After three years of virtual events, the PPIC Water Policy Center’s annual fall conference made a welcome return to an in-person format in Sacramento on Friday, November 18. The half-day event began with a welcome from PPIC Water Policy Center assistant director Caity Peterson and a presentation by senior fellow Jeffrey Mount.

“The elephant in the room is that conditions have changed,” said Mount. “We’re no longer talking about some future existential threat….we have now moved into the era of the hot drought.” Hotter droughts, he said, coupled with a thirstier atmosphere, are testing California’s water system as never before.

We invite you to watch the videos from this event:

Read the full piece and watch the videos on PPIC’s website.