How do engineers see the water glass in California? Mostly the same as they did four years ago when this blog was first posted, though with today’s drought the glass is perhaps down to a quarter full — or three-quarters empty.
By Jay R. Lund
Depending on your outlook, the proverbial glass of water is either half full or half empty. Not so for engineers in California.
Civil engineer: The glass is too big.
Flood control engineer: The glass should be 50 percent bigger.
Army Corps levee engineer: The glass should be 50 percent thicker.
Mexicali Valley water engineer: Your leaky glass is my water supply.
Delta levee engineer: Why is water rising on the outside of my glass?
Dutch levee engineer: The water should be kept in a pitcher.
Southern California water engineer: Can we get another pitcher?
Northern California water engineer: Who took half my water?
Consulting engineer: How much water would you like?
Environmental engineer: I wouldn’t drink that.
Water reuse engineer: Someone else drank from this glass.
Groundwater engineer: Can I get a longer straw?
Academic engineer: I don’t have a glass or any water, but I’ll tell you what to do with yours.
Jay Lund is a professor of civil and environmental engineering and director of the Center for Watershed Sciences at UC Davis.
Munroe, Randall. Glass Half Empty. xkcd.com