Californians for Energy and Water Abundance

California’s Dubious Megaprojects

California’s Dubious Megaprojects

It would be inaccurate to suggest that California’s state legislature can no longer think big. They can, and as such they are carrying on a tradition that two generations ago gave us the best universities in the world, expressways and freeways that helped catalyze a boom that lasted for decades, and the most remarkable system...

By Edward Ring

Harvesting Urban Storm Runoff

Harvesting Urban Storm Runoff

In a normal year, by the end of March downtown Los Angeles receives 13 inches of rain. Last year 27.8 inches fell, and through March 3 of this year, 21.3 inches has already fallen. This suggests that both this year and last year, over 1.0 million acre feet of rainfall hit the region. Even in...

By Edward Ring

How to Deliver Affordable Energy Again in California

How to Deliver Affordable Energy Again in California

Californians pay some of the highest prices for energy in the United States. Gasoline last year averaged $4.89 per gallon, and diesel fuel $5.07 per gallon, both the highest in the country. Electricity rates had California 45th in the nation in 2023 at $0.27 per kilowatt-hour, the worst of every major state with the sole exception of Massachusetts, which...

By Edward Ring

The Potential of Rooftop Solar

The Potential of Rooftop Solar

California’s central planners are determined to stay ahead of the entire world when it comes to renewable energy and achieving “net zero.” It is an expensive and intrusive experiment, and we’re the lab rats. But that doesn’t mean every renewables innovation is bad. And for the hardened skeptics, we can put it another way: At...

The Opportunity Cost of the Delta Tunnels

The Opportunity Cost of the Delta Tunnels

Last week in Sacramento at Cal Desal’s annual conference, one of the highlights was an appearance by Wade Crowfoot, California’s Natural Resources Secretary. In his remarks, and in answer to questions from the audience, Crowfoot sought to create the impression the Newsom administration is supporting desalination projects. “The last thing we want to do is put...

By Edward Ring

Hardly Harvesting the Deluge

Hardly Harvesting the Deluge

A historic barrage of atmospheric rivers hit California. Across the Sierra Nevada and down through the foothills into the valley, rivers turned into raging torrents, overflowing their banks and flooding entire communities. California’s Central Valley turned into an inland sea, as low lying farms and grasslands were incapable of draining the deluge. That was 1861,...

By Edward Ring

Comparing the Delta Tunnel versus Desalination

Comparing the Delta Tunnel versus Desalination

Debates over the efficacy of water projects often focus on the monthly cost to end users. For example, in May 2022, a few days before the California Coastal Commission voted unanimously to deny the final permit to build a desalination plant in Huntington Beach, the influential Los Angeles Times columnist Michael Hiltzik fretted that it “might drive up the...

By Edward Ring

Half of California’s Energy Comes from Crude Oil

Half of California’s Energy Comes from Crude Oil

Here’s a reality check that ought to keep politicians up at night in California. Despite being a sunny, solar friendly state, with ample areas blessed with high wind, California still derives 50 percent of its total energy from crude oil. Another 34 percent comes from natural gas. This fossil fuel total for California energy, 84 percent,...

By Edward Ring

The Klamath Basin ‘Restoration’ is at What Cost?

The Klamath Basin ‘Restoration’ is at What Cost?

If you scan news reports and search results for Klamath Dams removal, the news is universally upbeat. “The river will run free again.” “A step towards justice.” “Largest river restoration project in American history!” But as waters now drain out of the reservoirs behind these half-demolished dams for the last time, unanswered questions persist. How...

By Edward Ring

Water Rationing: The Worst Way to Build Resiliency

Water Rationing: The Worst Way to Build Resiliency

When a public policy decision is flawed, and the reasons it is flawed are simple and obvious, and the consequences are huge and costly, the appropriate response for a concerned observer is to call attention to the looming debacle. Not just once, but over and over and over again. An example of an impending economic...

By Edward Ring

Challenging the Water Orthodoxy

Challenging the Water Orthodoxy

This week, we return to the topic of water. Along with energy, water abundance is a nonnegotiable prerequisite for conditions we value and aspire to achieve: prosperity, affordability, resilience, and equity. But judging from California’s restrictive policies over the past fifty years, continuously escalating in severity and scope, you would think the opposite is true....

By Edward Ring

Creating Water Abundance

Creating Water Abundance

In so many ways that it almost defies description, California’s lawmakers have relied on obtuse, punitive, flawed logic to justify recently passed laws implementing urban water rationing in California. Rather than undertake the Sisyphean task of enumerating them, let’s just focus on one critical factor: the opportunity cost. California’s urban water consumption is already down...

By Edward Ring

Eliminating Water Scarcity

Eliminating Water Scarcity

After the deluge that inundated California during our most recent water season, there is no chance Californians will confront a water supply crisis this year. Water levels, as reported by the California Data Exchange Center, are above the historical average for this date in every one of California’s major reservoirs. But storms of scarcity remain on...

By Edward Ring

Battery Innovations for EVs and the Grid

Battery Innovations for EVs and the Grid

If there is anything that unites Californians it is a belief that anything is possible. How else to explain our state’s mad rush into renewables. Even a skeptic ought to be impressed. With massive wealth, a diverse and resilient economy, abundant sunshine and mild winters, and infinite reserves of imagination that define our culture, the...

By Edward Ring