The problem with people

Source: NASA. Click on the map to be taken to the Earth Observatory

AS SACRAMENTO legislators work on bills this week to assure the future of California’s water supply, Peter Gleick of the Pacific Institute points to the elephant in the living room. Population growth. He writes in this week’s San Francisco Chronicle:

The amount of water on Earth is fixed. We’re not losing it to space and we’re not getting more (with negligible exceptions) … But population is not fixed. It is growing, and growing rapidly in some places. As a result, the amount of water available per person (“per capita”) is declining.

To keep reading Peter Gleick in the San Francisco Chronicle, click here.

UPDATE: 10/21/2009 For part two of Gleick’s series on population and fresh water, click here.


Calls to California Legislature to save Delta salmon

Delta salmon. Photo: California Department of Water Resources

FOLLOWING Saturday’s editorial pointing to a tide of water bills about to surface in Sacramento, today the San Francisco Chronicle carries a guide to those bills along with calls to protect the Bay-Delta’s historic salmon fisheries.

Samples, links below along with a guide to the bills.

From “As the Delta goes, so go our salmon:”

“The estuary is dying. California has long viewed the delta as a massive reservoir it could endlessly plumb for agriculture and development. Water “wasting” to the sea is seen as a massive leak. In reality, the delta is an ecosystem – it is our Everglades, our Chesapeake Bay. An estuary’s lifeblood is its freshwater inflow mixing with saline tidal flows to create a rich, brackish water that nourishes salmon, crabs, sole, oysters and shrimp. As the estuary dies, so do California salmon.”

From “Limit

Secret water bills to emerge in Sacramento, claims op-ed

JULY 4, 2009: “Several secret bills are set to emerge this week to cover some contentious water issues, including governance of the Bay-Delta region, water conservation, new dams and an updated proposal for a peripheral canal, which was overwhelmingly rejected by California voters in 1982,” claims an op-ed in the San Francisco Chronicle. Click here for text.…