Can an Abundance Agenda Unite Business?

By Edward Ring
06/12/2024
Scarcity and high prices are not an inevitable fact of life in California. They are the result of political choices. For nearly 50 years, and with escalating severity that shows no sign of abating, politicians in California have enacted legislation that is explicitly responsible for unaffordable housing, unreliable and expensive energy, and chronic shortages of...

TAGS: California energy costs, California water policy, energy

The Abundance Mindset

By Edward Ring
05/29/2024
If energy powers modern civilization, then water gives it life. And in California, for at least the last 20 years, with escalating severity, life has been tough. There isn’t enough water to go around. Water scarcity is not being forced upon Californians by climate change. Like so many other fundamental challenges Californians must endure –...

TAGS: California water policy, water rationing

The Crossroads of Kern County

By Edward Ring
05/22/2024
With chronic uncertainty over water allocations for farm irrigation, and relentless and escalating regulatory assaults on its oil industry, the biggest economic sectors of Kern County are threatened. The irony is thick. Food and fuel are the prerequisites for civilization – the enabling foundation for California’s entire much broader and often spectacular economy – and...

TAGS: California water policy, Central Valley, energy, Kern County

Water Czars Ignore Solutions to Scarcity

By Edward Ring
05/08/2024
The Delta Tunnel proposal exemplifies California’s political dysfunction. It will probably never get built, but it promises to dominate all discussions of major state and federal spending on water infrastructure for the next decade, preventing any other big ideas from getting the attention they merit. Like the bullet train and offshore wind, it is a...

TAGS: California water policy

How Much Water Will $30 Billion Buy?

By Edward Ring
04/10/2024
So far this year I had the privilege of attending two water oriented events. The first, in February, was at the annual CalDesal conference in Sacramento. The second, in March, was at the Kern County Water Summit in Bakersfield. I sensed there is a growing recognition among the participants in both of these events that...

TAGS: California water policy

Sacramento’s War on Water and Energy

By Edward Ring
04/03/2024
After the deluges of 2022-23, and the rainfall season so far this year delivering an above normal snowpack and above normal rain, the drought in California is over. Even the situation on the dry Colorado is much improved, with Lake Powell and Lake Mead collectively at 42 percent of capacity, up from only 32 percent of capacity at...

TAGS: California water policy, energy

Harvesting Urban Storm Runoff

By Edward Ring
03/06/2024
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...

TAGS: California water policy

The Opportunity Cost of the Delta Tunnels

By Edward Ring
02/14/2024
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...

TAGS: California water policy, desalination

Comparing the Delta Tunnel versus Desalination

By Edward Ring
01/31/2024
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...

TAGS: California water policy, desalination

Water Rationing: The Worst Way to Build Resiliency

By Edward Ring
01/11/2024
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...

TAGS: California water policy, water rationing