California Water Related

ENSO it’s raining. The 2016 Drought so far – February 1

California WaterBlog - January 31, 2016 - 6:27pm
Summary of conditions January 2016 has been much wetter than the previous Januaries during this drought. Precipitation is modestly above average, as is snowpack, and climatic conditions remain promising. The largest reservoirs are mostly fuller than a year ago, although … Continue reading →

Why care about native freshwater fish?

California WaterBlog - January 24, 2016 - 7:00pm
By Jason Baumsteiger Even with a strong El Niño year, there are no assurances the drought is over. Clearly we need a better plan for future droughts and that plan needs to include provisions for native freshwater fish.  But why … Continue reading →

Eager for rain – and floods – on California’s floodplain playground: the lower Cosumnes River

California WaterBlog - January 17, 2016 - 7:00pm
By Andrew Nichols California’s drought plays on, and a recent series of storms to start the New Year have done little to change this broken record.  However, promising weather conditions suggest a change of tune may be coming soon.  This … Continue reading →

Science takes flight: aerial imagery provides new opportunities and insights

California WaterBlog - January 10, 2016 - 9:00pm
By Devon Lambert Remote sensing is all the rage as we start the New Year, largely due to its ability to exponentially increase our areas of analysis for research. What used to take us weeks to survey with traditional field … Continue reading →

ENSO it Begins? The 2016 Drought – so far – January 3

California WaterBlog - January 3, 2016 - 8:16pm
By Jay Lund “One afternoon they take me … to witness a great religious ceremony. It is the invocation to the gods for rain.” John Wesley Powell (1895, p. 338) 2016 starts with slightly above average precipitation and snowpack and … Continue reading →

The Earth is Falling! – Land Subsidence and Water Management in California

California WaterBlog - December 27, 2015 - 9:00pm
By Jay Lund, Thomas Harter, Rob Gaily, Rick Frank, and Graham Fogg Groundwater problems are mostly invisible.  However, as California has come to rely more on groundwater during the drought, land subsidence from groundwater drawdown and accumulating overdraft has become … Continue reading →

Comments to SWRCB: Regulation for Measuring and Reporting Water Diversion

California WaterBlog - December 16, 2015 - 9:00pm
By Henry McCann, Elisa Blanco, Alvar Escriva-Bou, Ellen Hanak, Jay Lund, Bonnie Magnuson-Skeels, Andrew Tweet[1] Governor Brown signed Senate Bill 88 on June 24, 2015, adding provisions to the California Water Code for stricter measurement and reporting for surface water … Continue reading →

Improving mandatory State cutbacks of urban water use for a 5th year of drought

California WaterBlog - December 13, 2015 - 5:00pm
By Jay R. Lund There is usually great uncertainty about when a drought will end, but certainty that longer droughts bring tougher economic and ecosystem conditions as water in aquifers and reservoirs is further depleted.  Long droughts, like the current one, … Continue reading →

California’s groundwater – basics, laws, and beyond

California WaterBlog - December 7, 2015 - 7:17pm
By Chris Austin Groundwater has been receiving a lot of attention lately, and for good reason. California is the heaviest groundwater user in the nation, and our use is increasing after recent, multiple dry years. The Sustainable Groundwater Supply Act … Continue reading →

Rising to El Niño’s challenges – and opportunities

California WaterBlog - November 29, 2015 - 2:01pm
By Nicholas Pinter The much-anticipated El Niño has now arrived, with increased potential for heavy rain and snowfall, including the possibility of localized flooding, mudslides and other hazards. While extreme storms, flooding and other natural disasters challenge society to protect … Continue reading →

Keep California’s water ‘Maven’ afloat

California WaterBlog - November 24, 2015 - 10:41am
The nonprofit Maven’s Notebook has become the daily go-to place for the latest California water news and information, including meeting summaries, keynote speeches and digests of ponderous documents. It’s a one-person operation, and that person, Chris Austin (aka “Maven”), needs your donations … Continue reading →

Measuring the effectiveness of ‘environmental flows’

California WaterBlog - November 18, 2015 - 7:18pm
By Ann Willis and Andrew Nichols In the early fall of 2012, an unusually large number of Chinook salmon were returning to the Klamath River, straddling the California-Oregon border. Many of those fish were expected to swim upstream to the … Continue reading →

Finally, a one-stop shop for locating California’s fishes

California WaterBlog - November 8, 2015 - 3:34pm
By Nick Santos “Where?” The question is foundational to conservation biology and policy. To take a conservation action, you need to know where to act. And, yet, for decades stewards and researchers of aquatic fauna have been sorely lacking in … Continue reading →

Watering up Halloween, California style

California WaterBlog - October 28, 2015 - 4:03pm
By Ghost Writer What better way to spook Californians this Halloween than to appear as a slobbering “Godzilla El Niño.” Or draped in a bedsheet as Godzilla’s opponent, “The Blob,” the amoeba-shaped patch of unusually warm Pacific water blocking storms … Continue reading →

An update on California fishes of ‘special concern’

California WaterBlog - October 22, 2015 - 8:00pm
By Peter Moyle Three-fourths of California’s native fishes are now officially designated as being in trouble, or potentially so. The good news is that not all of these species – 93 of the total 123 native fishes today – have … Continue reading →

Capturing El Niño for the underground

California WaterBlog - October 13, 2015 - 8:13pm
By Philip Bachand, Helen Dahlke, William Horwath, Thomas Harter and Toby O’Geen A much-anticipated “Godzilla” El Niño this winter may refill California’s drought-diminished reservoirs, but it won’t do much to restock the severely depleted aquifers we rely upon to get … Continue reading →

Water conservation for the birds

California WaterBlog - October 6, 2015 - 6:03pm
By Jay Lund People who save water like to know their conserving is doing some good, such as sustaining economic growth, building municipal reserves for longer droughts or supporting the environment. But many urban residents are concerned their water savings … Continue reading →

Time-lapse river videos expose nature in the raw

California WaterBlog - October 1, 2015 - 7:13pm
By Ryan Peek Thanks to its Mediterranean climate, California swings from one extreme to another — severe drought, raging wildfires, big floods. These forces often interact and amplify, as we saw all too well this past summer in the scorching of … Continue reading →

The banality of California’s ‘1,200-year’ drought

California WaterBlog - September 23, 2015 - 5:36pm
By Jay Lund California’s ongoing drought will continue to break records and grab headlines, but it is unlikely to be especially rare from a water policy and management perspective. Estimates of the current drought’s rarity range from once in 15 … Continue reading →

How research programs stack up — a photo essay

California WaterBlog - September 21, 2015 - 7:00pm
By Jay Lund Riding into work the other day, I was thinking how our understanding of hard problems requires understanding a lot of pieces and how those pieces fit together – sort of like how a pile of bricks gets … Continue reading →