Drought's impact, from Sierra to Pacific

Center researchers Sarah Yarnell and Andy Bell taking ultra-high resolution photos of Tuolumne Meadows panorama. Yosemite's Mount Dana in background, 2013

The Center's Theodore Grantham and Joshua Viers lead a Mercury News special on the drought with their new research findings on the state's water demands. The analysis shows California's water heavily oversubscribed, with five times more water committed than flows through all the state's rivers and streams combined.

“We’ve created a false sense that there is sufficient water to meet everyone’s needs,” Grantham says in the story's lead quote. “Now, there’s a crisis. But it is also an opportunity. Crisis breeds innovation.”

The June 21 story by Lisa Krieger and Aric Crabb show impacts of the drought along a 300-mile path of snowmelt, from Yosemite's Mount Dana (see photo) on down the Tuolumne River and through the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta to the Pacific Ocean.

Grantham is a post-doctoral researcher in water resources management. Viers, a Center affiliate, is an associate professor with UC Merced's School of Engineering. Their study on California's water rights system is expected to be published later this year.