Reconceiving Water Scarcity as Design Opportunity - Mapping a more absorbent landscape

Hadley Arnold, Peter Arnold
October, 2013

Thirty million people in the American West depend on snowmelt to grow food, slake their thirst, and run their towns, cities, and industries. Twenty-two million of them live in Southern California. As in many parts of the world, western water supplies are over-allocated and populations are growing. Increasing variability in precipitation—the primary impact of climate change on the hydrologic cycle—exacerbates the stress: longer droughts, less snowpack, and earlier snowmelt are already observable. Current climate models estimate that 70 percent of western snowpack will be gone by 2100.