In the midst of a nearly five-year drought, California has no shortage of pressing water issues. In the search for solutions, the state’s Assembly Select Committee on Water Consumption and Alternative Sources invited Woods Senior Research Associate Newsha Ajami to testify Jan. 20 and Woods Senior Fellows Buzz Thompson (Law) and Noah Diffenbaugh (Earth System Science) to testify Nov.17 as part of informational hearings.


Ajami (00:10:13 in video), director of urban water policy at Water in the West, discussed the challenges and opportunites of water reuse and recycling, including how to finance innovative projects. "We need to move to 21st Century solutions by providing 21st Century opportunities for people," Ajami said.

Newsha Ajami's testimony (PDF)

Diffenbaugh (1:18:11 in video) explained how climate change has increased the probability of warm years and drought, and warned of a “new normal” of hot weather and low precipitation. Even with the increased risks, in terms of vulnerability and exposure, there are opportunities to better manage the situation, Diffenbaugh said. Thompson (2:45:55 in video) emphasized the need to bridge an “innovation deficit” in order to improve water security. Technological innovations and policies to encourage them are crucial to this effort, Thompson said. “There are already many opportunities for providing greater water security and resilience for the state of California,” Thompson said.

Buzz Thompson's testimony (powerpoint)

Noah Diffenbaugh's testimony (PDF)