By using water as a commodity, we are using up the fresh water the planet provides faster than it can replenish it.

Reporting this piece introduced me to a subculture I hadn’t paid much attention to before: Water nerds.

It turns out I sit right next to a couple of them, right here at KQED. One is named Dan Brekke. He’s an editor here. Dan spouts off reservoir levels the way other people recite batting averages.

Monthly snowpack surveys are awaited with baited breath. Curious about the state’s current hydrological conditions? Dan can probably tell you.

Speaking of snowpack surveys, don’t miss Craig Miller’s Climate Watch video about how the surveys are conducted and what they mean. (See, I told you this place was crawling with water nerds.)

Anyway, it seemed unfair that I, an amateur water nerd, should be allowed to actually meet weather celebrities like Jan Null, a meteorologist for the Golden Gate Weather Service (and a favorite source of KQED reporters). My trip out to Folsom Dam made me the envy of the newsroom. But Dan didn’t hold it against me. In fact, he agreed to share his interactive map with me, which he has promised to update daily with reservoir levels. (For a larger view, click here.)

He must be looking for converts.

View KQED: California Reservoir Watch in a larger map

Listen to Is The Drought Over? radio report online.

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Reporter’s Notes: Is The Drought Over? 2 October,2015Amy Standen


Amy Standen

Amy Standen (@amystanden) is co-host of #TheLeapPodcast (subscribe on iTunes or Stitcher!) and host of KQED and PBSDigital Studios' science video series, Deep Look.  Her science radio stories appear on KQED and NPR.

Email her at

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