Mono Lake is healing after decades of excessive water diversions, providing real world proof of our ability to balance human water needs with ecological protection. Restoration of the lake and its tributary streams has been underway for over 15 years. An adaptive, science-based process was set forth in 1998 that recognized the need for action while realizing not all the answers for restoration were at hand.
In 2012 a major new phase of restoration is underway. A decade of science is informing new streamflow requirements that will accelerate restoration progress. A collaborative process is seeking ways to overcome the obstacles of aging infrastructure to implement the new measures. Yet progress requires constant vigilance; at the same time, the monitoring program that gathers data on the limnology and ecological health of Mono Lake—critical information for future wise management—is imperiled.