Author Archive

In California, Dealing With A Drought And Preparing For A Flood

National Public Radio: As Californians hope for rain and snow to end the state's extreme drought, a decades-old rule prohibits reservoirs from filling up in the winter, so some water ends up being released. The rule may sound odd given how chronically dry California is, but it's actually to prevent a bigger disaster: flooding. In the winter, reservoirs are not allowed to fill up. That's so they can capture excessive amounts of water that flow out of the mountains during storms. It was a solution engineered to prevent...

California, An Environmental Leader, Eyes A Key Role In Climate Talks

National Public Radio: World leaders are scheduled to meet in Paris soon, trying to draft an agreement on how to combat climate change. Among the heads of state, you'll also see California Gov. Jerry Brown, who is spearheading his own international climate movement. Brown has been on an international diplomatic tour the last few months - all about climate change. "The world faces an existential threat," he told Canadian leaders in July. Then, he went to the Vatican. "Whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also...

Restore California Delta! To What, Exactly?

National Public Radio: In California, state officials are planning a multibillion-dollar environmental restoration of the inland delta near San Francisco Bay. There's only one problem: No one knows what the landscape used to look like. Ninety-seven percent of the original wetlands are gone, so the state is turning to historians for help. This detective story begins on a sunny day in a dry field of corn, about an hour east of San Francisco. Alison Whipple and Robin Grossinger are looking through a pile of maps, trying...