Peak Water, Climate Change, and California Planning in an Uncertain World
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Peak Water, Climate Change, and California Planning in an Uncertain World Presentation Transcript

  • 1. Peak Water, Climate Change, and California Planning in an Uncertain World Dr. Peter Gleick Pacific Institute, Oakland, California
  • 2. Overview • • • • • “Peak Water” - What does it mean? California’s water: a quick glance Climate changes are coming New trends and thinking about solutions New challenges: Planning in an uncertain world • Moving forward
  • 3. Global Population Global CO2 Concentration
  • 4. U.S. Oil Production Atlantic Cod 1950-2008
  • 5. Market Penetration of Telephones in US Ecosystem carrying capacities Cumulative Dam Capacity in US
  • 6. Renewable or Non-Renewable? • Non-renewable resources are “stock” limited. • Renewable resources are “flow” limited. • Water uniquely exhibits characteristics of both: overall renewable but with some fixed, isolated non-renewable stocks.
  • 7. Peak Renewable Water Total Renewable Supply But, how much can we actually use?? How much should we actually use?
  • 8. Total Colorado River Flow at the Delta Gleick and Palaniappan 2010
  • 9. Peak “Non-Renewable” Water Such as fossil groundwater (Central Valley, Ogallala, Libya, North China Plains, central India…)
  • 10. Overall Economic and Ecological Value Peak “Ecological” Water Amount of Water Appropriated by Humans
  • 11. So, What Does Peak Water Mean? • We’ll never “run out” of water overall. It is (mostly) renewable. • Where water is “non-renewable” we will run into stock constraints. • We will run up against “flow” limits that are a combination of natural and economic constraints. • We are increasingly hitting (or exceeding) peak “ecological” water limits. • We have to change the way we plan for the future.
  • 12. California’s Water
  • 13. Challenges for California water • Droughts, floods, and limited water availability (peak renewable) • Overpumped aquifers (peak non-renewable) • Water quality • Collapsing Delta ecosystems and fisheries (peak ecological water) • Growing demands • Long-term climate change What does this all mean for planning?
  • 14. California’s Population 160,000,000 CALIFORNIA 140,000,000 CA Dept. of Finance Projections 120,000,000 High Series Population 100,000,000 Middle Series 80,000,000 Low Series 60,000,000 40,000,000 20,000,000 0 1920 1940 1960 1980 Source: California Department of Finance, Demographic Research Unit http://www.dof.ca.gov/Research/Research.asp 2000 2020 2040 2060 2080 2100 2120
  • 15. Water Diversions from the Delta Source: CA State Water Project reports and US Bureau of Reclamation 2012 data
  • 16. Delta Fisheries: Massive Declines • • • • • • • • Delta smelt Longfin smelt Chinook salmon Steelhead trout Threadfin shad Green and white sturgeon Sacramento splittail Striped bass
  • 17. How does California use its water? 12,000,000 10,000,000 8,000,000 6,000,000 4,000,000 2,000,000 0 Source: DWR 2005a
  • 18. Traditional solutions are tapped out, or no longer appropriate (or are the problem!)
  • 19. Reservoir Capacity in California 1850 to Present
  • 20. Approaching Peak Non-Renewable Groundwater Observed groundwater trends in the Sacramento and San Joaquin River basins Oct. 2003 to March 2009 (Image courtesy of NASA).
  • 21. • And Climate Change is Here We are as sure that humans are causing climate change as we are that smoking tobacco causes cancer.
  • 22. Global Average Sea Level Changes
  • 23. Detailed Maps for California can be found at www.pacinst.org.
  • 24. Detailed Maps for California can be found at www.pacinst.org.
  • 25. Natural Catastrophes in North America 1980 to 2011
  • 26. What Does Climate Change Mean for Planning? • Rising temperatures and extreme heat events. • Disappearing snowpack and a change in water availability, timing, and quality. • Rising sea levels and dramatic changes in coastal flooding risks. • More extreme events: droughts and floods.
  • 27. New Thinking about Water Solutions • Rethink “supply” – Conjunctive use, treated wastewater, innovative transfers, desalination, rainwater harvesting • Rethink “demand” – Reduce waste and increase efficiency, rethink economic priorities and choices • Rethink “management” – New institutions, improve existing institutions, better water monitoring
  • 28. Water Conservation and Efficiency
  • 29. What’s the first thing to do to a leaky bucket? $ $ $ $ $ $
  • 30. Distribution of Toilets in California
  • 31. Indoor Residential Water Use 3,500,000 Acre-feet per year 3,000,000 No Conservation 2,500,000 2,000,000 Current Use 1,500,000 “Full Conservation” 1,000,000 500,000 Haasz et al. 2002 Year 00 20 98 19 96 19 94 19 92 19 90 19 88 19 86 19 84 19 82 19 19 80 0
  • 32. California Urban Water Use Scenarios
  • 33. Producing More Food and Fiber with Less Water • Efficient Irrigation Technology – Changing irrigation technology • Improved Irrigation Scheduling – Using local climate and soil information to schedule irrigation; and • Regulated Deficit Irrigation – applying RDI to appropriate lands and crops.
  • 34. Irrigation Technology is Improving, More Potential Remains 100% Percent of Irrigated Acreage 80% 60% Micro/Drip Sprinkler Flood 40% 20% 0% Field Crops Vegetables Orchards Vineyards All Crops
  • 35. Final Thoughts About Planning • Our assumptions that the past is a good guide to the future are no longer valid. • There are good scientific and analytical tools for looking at future scenarios. • There are strategies for reducing vulnerability to “peak water” limits and to climate changes. • But new thinking, open minds, new approaches are needed for planners and policy makers.
  • 36. Dr. Peter H. Gleick pgleick@pacinst.org Pacific Institute, Oakland, Californi a www.pacinst.org www.worldwater.org