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What is the best way for California to manage scarce water resources?

With a lack of groundwater in the Central Valley and the snowpack in the Sierra Nevada at an all-time low, California’s governor has implemented historic, mandatory water restrictions to address the prolonged drought. While it is important not to invest in reduction strategies blindly, California policymakers must quickly take action to implement long-term solutions that will ensure we get the return we need for a safe and reliable water supply.

In the hub of the Southern California Metropolitan Water District system, UCR is strategically located to help inform local, regional and state policymakers of efficient ways to manage water. Kenneth Baerenklau and Kurt Schwabe, environmental economists in UCR’s new School of Public Policy, specialize in issues critical to water policy, quality and scarcity, advising water agency managers on information campaigns, tiered-pricing models, supply and reuse options, and technology-based rebate programs. Their continued partnership will further establish innovative conservation policies and efforts to better understand their effects.

Kurt Schwabe Kenneth Baerenklau

Professor, Environmental Economics & Policy, School of Public Policy Associate Professor, Environmental Economics & Policy, School of Public Policy

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