ICYMI 6/10/21: MWD’s New Leader, Drought, Solutions

After a bitter fight, Southern California’s water kingpin has a new leader – Los Angeles Times 6/9/21
The Metropolitan Water District of Southern California has hired Adel Hagekhalil as its next general manager, following a bitter power struggle over the future of an agency that delivers hundreds of billions of gallons each year from the Colorado River and Northern California to a region that otherwise wouldn’t have nearly enough water to support 19 million people. …A coalition including L.A. Waterkeeper, Restore the Delta and the Sierra Club Angeles Chapter called him “the right choice during this time to heal the organization and prepare our region in the face of persistent drought and changing climate.”

A Hotter Climate Is Shrinking The Water Supply In The Western U.S. – NPR 6/8/21
SOMMER: But there was a problem. To figure out how much water there was, state leaders looked at river flows from the previous 20 years. And it was unusually rainy, says Eric Kuhn, who managed Colorado’s water policy for several decades.
ERIC KUHN: They ended up appropriating more water than the river could actually produce.
SOMMER: Now climate change is shrinking that water supply even more. When it’s hotter, more water evaporates from plants and soils, which means less makes it into reservoirs. And drier soils are like a sponge. They soak up rainfall, which also reduces how much runs off into rivers. Hotter temperatures have caused half of the reduction in flow in the Colorado River over the last 20 years, according to one study. And it adds up to even bigger shortages going forward.

How Capturing Floodwaters Can Reduce Flooding and Combat Drought – Inside Climate News 6/8/21
In the study, published in Science Advances, He and his colleagues provided the first statewide analysis of the floodwater potentially available to restore depleted groundwater basins under future climate change scenarios. The increase in floodwater available to replenish over-drafted aquifers over the next 30 years, they found, would be enough to fill 192,000 Olympic swimming pools each year under an intermediate-emissions scenario, and 232,000 pools under a high-emissions scenario. 

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