Natural Gas Use in L.A. County

Posted on Leave a commentPosted in California, Energy Policy, Engineering, Los Angeles, Public Policy, Science and Technology

The shutdown of the Aliso Canyon natural gas storage facility has threatened the reliability of energy supplies in Southern California. Reducing natural gas demands, especially during peak periods of summer and winter use, is critically important to preserve uninterrupted electricity and natural gas services throughout the Los Angeles metropolitan region. In winter, natural gas consumption […]

The Hard Work of Sustainable Groundwater Management

Posted on Leave a commentPosted in California, Cities, Environment, Groundwater, Water

Image Sources: Covina Citrus Industry Photographs, Covina Public Library; Wikipedia   A recent post that originally ran on the California WaterBlog from the UC Davis Center for Watershed Sciences. ……. Under California’s new groundwater law, local agencies must adopt long-term plans for sustainably managing basins subject to critical overdraft. Preparing these plans will be challenging, […]

Stormwater Management and Governance in San Francisco

Posted on Leave a commentPosted in California, Cities, Engineering, Environment, Infrastructure, Public Policy, Systems Engineering, Urban Ecology, Water

An excerpt from a recently published journal article on governance of urban stormwater systems in future cities…. San Francisco provides a relevant example to understand governance changes related to future stormwater systems. The San Francisco Bay Area has a total population of over 7 million people in nine counties and is dominated by San Francisco Estuary, […]

The Scoop on Anaerobic Digestion

Posted on Leave a commentPosted in California, Energy Policy, Engineering, Environment, Systems Engineering, Water Resources Engineering

Anaerobic digestion has been used in wastewater treatment processes for decades.  Recent innovations, however, are making the technology more viable for commercial applications. Anaerobic digestion occurs when microbes degrade organic matter in the absence of oxygen gas. It can be used to treat sewage effluent, agricultural byproducts, and solid municipal wastes.  The microbes utilize oxygen […]

Life in the Tails: Behavioral Economics

Posted on Leave a commentPosted in California, Cities, Culture, Energy Policy, Engineering, Environment, Public Policy, Science and Technology, Systems Engineering

The question of merging individual (or organizational) decision-making with infrastructure design and management is supremely interesting, though not often engaged by the engineering community. For urban infrastructure, social systems are a key component of function. Individual decisions are influenced by personal views, interactions with peers, and larger social trends. This may not have a lot […]

Future Water Use: Solutions in Technology?

Posted on Leave a commentPosted in California, Environment, Science and Technology, Systems Engineering, Uncategorized, Water Resources Engineering

As a society, we often seek solutions to social problems in technology and innovation. If we need more food or water, we will develop more productive processes that exploit available resources. Technology and innovation are at the heart of fundamental conceptions prosperity, as crystallized by Endogenous Growth Theory that dominates economic thought. This innovation almost […]

Big Dreams and Bountiful Capital: Western U.S. Expansion

Posted on Leave a commentPosted in California, Engineering, Environment, History, Systems Engineering, Water Resources Engineering

The settlement of the American West in the mid-nineteenth century saw streams of Americans, Europeans, Asians, and Central and South Americans converge on the region and its resources. The new peoples brought their views of agriculture, exploitation, and wealth to the strange ecosystems of the West. For East Coast Americans and Europeans, who were accustomed […]

Roots of Engineering in America: Military and Civilian Engineers

Posted on Leave a commentPosted in California, Cities, Engineering, Science and Technology, Water Resources Engineering

The tradition of engineering in the U.S. has deep roots in French, British, Dutch, and Italian innovation. The rise of a professional class of engineers begins, as with many technological innovations, in the military. Louis XIV in France was quick to recognize the value of having technical experts that could survey and assess land accurately, […]

Infrastructure and CA Water Policy Program

Posted on Leave a commentPosted in California, Systems Engineering, Water Resources Engineering

Last Wednesday, I attended a program entitled Water Conflicts and Resolution: Economy vs. Environment, at Resources for the Future in D.C. The program was part of the unveiling of a new book, Managing California’s Water: From Conflict to Reconciliation, from researchers at the Public Policy Institute of California (PPIC), UC Davis, and UC Riverside. The […]