Peak Water, Climate Change, and California
Planning in an Uncertain World
Dr. Peter Gleick
Pacific Institute, Oakland, Cal...
Overview
•
•
•
•
•

“Peak Water” - What does it mean?
California’s water: a quick glance
Climate changes are coming
New tr...
Global
Population

Global CO2
Concentration
U.S. Oil
Production

Atlantic Cod
1950-2008
Market
Penetration of
Telephones in US

Ecosystem
carrying capacities

Cumulative Dam
Capacity in US
Renewable or Non-Renewable?
• Non-renewable resources are “stock” limited.
• Renewable resources are “flow” limited.
• Wat...
Peak Renewable Water
Total Renewable Supply

But, how much can we
actually use??
How much should we
actually use?
Total Colorado River Flow at the Delta

Gleick and Palaniappan 2010
Peak “Non-Renewable” Water

Such as fossil groundwater
(Central Valley, Ogallala, Libya,
North China Plains, central
India...
Overall Economic and Ecological Value

Peak “Ecological” Water

Amount of Water Appropriated by Humans
So, What Does Peak Water Mean?
• We’ll never “run out” of water overall. It is
(mostly) renewable.
• Where water is “non-r...
California’s Water
Challenges for California water
• Droughts, floods, and limited water
availability (peak renewable)
• Overpumped aquifers ...
California’s Population
160,000,000

CALIFORNIA

140,000,000

CA Dept. of Finance
Projections

120,000,000

High Series
Po...
Water Diversions from the Delta

Source: CA State Water Project reports and
US Bureau of Reclamation 2012 data
Delta Fisheries: Massive Declines
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•

Delta smelt
Longfin smelt
Chinook salmon
Steelhead trout
Threadfin shad...
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
Traditional solutions are tapped out, or
no longer appropriate (or are the
problem!)
Reservoir Capacity in California
1850 to Present
Approaching Peak
Non-Renewable
Groundwater
Observed groundwater
trends in the Sacramento
and San Joaquin River
basins
Oct....
• And Climate Change is Here

We are as sure that humans are
causing climate change as we are
that smoking tobacco causes
...
Global Average Sea Level Changes
Detailed Maps for California can be found at www.pacinst.org.
Detailed Maps for California can be found at www.pacinst.org.
Natural Catastrophes in North America
1980 to 2011
What Does Climate Change Mean for
Planning?
• Rising temperatures and extreme heat events.
• Disappearing snowpack and a c...
New Thinking about Water Solutions
• Rethink “supply”
– Conjunctive use, treated wastewater, innovative
transfers, desalin...
Water Conservation and Efficiency
What’s the first thing to do to a leaky
bucket?

$

$

$

$
$

$
Distribution of Toilets in California
Indoor Residential Water Use
3,500,000

Acre-feet per year

3,000,000

No Conservation

2,500,000
2,000,000

Current Use

...
California Urban Water Use Scenarios
Producing More Food and Fiber with
Less Water
• Efficient Irrigation Technology
– Changing irrigation technology

• Improv...
Irrigation Technology is
Improving, More Potential Remains
100%

Percent of Irrigated Acreage

80%

60%

Micro/Drip
Sprink...
Final Thoughts About Planning
• Our assumptions that the past is a good guide
to the future are no longer valid.
• There a...
Dr. Peter H. Gleick
pgleick@pacinst.org
Pacific
Institute, Oakland, Californi
a

www.pacinst.org
www.worldwater.org
Peak Water, Climate Change, and California Planning in an Uncertain World
Peak Water, Climate Change, and California Planning in an Uncertain World
Peak Water, Climate Change, and California Planning in an Uncertain World
Peak Water, Climate Change, and California Planning in an Uncertain World
Peak Water, Climate Change, and California Planning in an Uncertain World
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

  1. 1. Peak Water, Climate Change, and California Planning in an Uncertain World Dr. Peter Gleick Pacific Institute, Oakland, California
  2. 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. 3. Global Population Global CO2 Concentration
  4. 4. U.S. Oil Production Atlantic Cod 1950-2008
  5. 5. Market Penetration of Telephones in US Ecosystem carrying capacities Cumulative Dam Capacity in US
  6. 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. 7. Peak Renewable Water Total Renewable Supply But, how much can we actually use?? How much should we actually use?
  8. 8. Total Colorado River Flow at the Delta Gleick and Palaniappan 2010
  9. 9. Peak “Non-Renewable” Water Such as fossil groundwater (Central Valley, Ogallala, Libya, North China Plains, central India…)
  10. 10. Overall Economic and Ecological Value Peak “Ecological” Water Amount of Water Appropriated by Humans
  11. 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. 12. California’s Water
  13. 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. 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. 15. Water Diversions from the Delta Source: CA State Water Project reports and US Bureau of Reclamation 2012 data
  16. 16. Delta Fisheries: Massive Declines • • • • • • • • Delta smelt Longfin smelt Chinook salmon Steelhead trout Threadfin shad Green and white sturgeon Sacramento splittail Striped bass
  17. 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. 18. Traditional solutions are tapped out, or no longer appropriate (or are the problem!)
  19. 19. Reservoir Capacity in California 1850 to Present
  20. 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. 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. 22. Global Average Sea Level Changes
  23. 23. Detailed Maps for California can be found at www.pacinst.org.
  24. 24. Detailed Maps for California can be found at www.pacinst.org.
  25. 25. Natural Catastrophes in North America 1980 to 2011
  26. 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. 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. 28. Water Conservation and Efficiency
  29. 29. What’s the first thing to do to a leaky bucket? $ $ $ $ $ $
  30. 30. Distribution of Toilets in California
  31. 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. 32. California Urban Water Use Scenarios
  33. 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. 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. 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. 36. Dr. Peter H. Gleick pgleick@pacinst.org Pacific Institute, Oakland, Californi a www.pacinst.org www.worldwater.org

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