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Interview with an environmental scientist: Where has all California's water gone?

Courtesty of the Pacific Institute
Peter Gleick

As California faces an extreme drought, water politics are under a microscope now more than ever. Oakland-based Pacific Institute is a leader in research on the impacts of climate change on water. Its director, Peter Gleick, was awarded a prestigious MacArthur Fellowship for his work on water resources.

Even though 38 million Californians cook, clean and bathe with water, the Central Valley is still the largest user by far, taking up 75 percent of the state's water supply. Gleick sat down with KALW's Ben Trefny to decipher the state's water issues. 

Peter Gleick: A lot of the water use in agriculture in California still goes to relatively low-valued high water-using crops like alfalfa, irrigated pasture cotton, rice, some of the field crops. Those do use the majority of the water that agriculture uses and they don't produce the majority of the revenue.

Click the audio player above to listen to the complete interview. 


Ben was hired as Interim Executive Director of KALW in November, 2021.