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Some more water management truisms (Part II)

November 10, 2019 - 4:45pm
by Jay Lund Here is part two of a partial collection of truisms on water management.  These ideas seem obviously true, but still offer insights and perspective.  Original sources are mostly unknown (but apocryphal citations are common).  Any that I … Continue reading →

Night of the Living Dead Salmon

October 30, 2019 - 4:32pm
by Kelly Neal and Gabe Saron On a cool and misty morning somewhere south of Redding, California, jet boats roar across the tranquil Sacramento River. Armed with tridents, machetes and poleaxes, it seems akin to a scene from an action … Continue reading →

The Dreamt Land by Mark Arax: We’re all complicit in California’s water follies

October 21, 2019 - 11:20am
by Ann Willis We are all sinners. At least, that’s the impression Mark Arax leaves in The Dreamt Land: Chasing Water and Dust Across California. What’s bold, and distinguishes this book from others about California, is that Arax grapples with … Continue reading →

Can we understand it all?

October 13, 2019 - 4:40pm
This is my favorite water cartoon.  It depicts how well the public (and elected officials) will ever understand how water systems work. Today, as individuals we understand only a little about the detailed world around us (cell phones, medical technology, … Continue reading →

Some water management truisms, Part I

October 6, 2019 - 5:45pm
by Jay Lund Here is a partial collection of truisms on water management.  These are common ideas that seem obviously true (particularly in the western US), but still offer insights and perspective.  The original sources of these are unknown (although … Continue reading →

Management’s eternal relevance

September 29, 2019 - 4:26pm
by Jay Lund Just a brief, and slightly pedantic, blog post this week on the importance of liberal education and broad thinking for those want to solve real problems, illustrated with a bit of history. Engineers and physical scientists will … Continue reading →

The long and winding road of salmon trucking in California

September 22, 2019 - 5:00pm
By Dr Anna Sturrock Trucking juvenile hatchery salmon downstream is often used in the California Central Valley to reduce mortality during their perilous swim to the ocean. But is it all good? Researchers at UC Berkeley, UC Davis, UC San … Continue reading →

Providing Flows for Fish

September 15, 2019 - 4:28pm
by Peter Moyle A reality in California and the American West is that people are competing with fish for water. We humans are winning the competition.  However, because there are moral, aesthetic, and legal obligations to provide fish with water … Continue reading →

The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly of California’s State-Mandated Urban Water Conservation during Drought

September 8, 2019 - 4:42pm
by Amy Talbot Amy Talbot is the Regional Water Efficiency Manger for the Regional Water Authority, which represents 21 water suppliers in the Sacramento region.  She manages an award-winning public outreach and education program.  Additionally, she is a board member … Continue reading →

Who governs California’s drinking water systems?

September 1, 2019 - 4:45pm
By Kristin Dobbin and Amanda Fencl A key feature of California’s drinking water system is the large number of individual water systems. There are approximately 3,000 Community Water Systems (CWSs) in the state, meaning systems that serve a residential population … Continue reading →

Remarkable Suisun Marsh: a bright spot for fish in the San Francisco Estuary

August 25, 2019 - 5:00pm
by Teejay O’Rear and Peter Moyle To most people, Suisun Marsh is either the seemingly blank area visible at 70 MPH from the north side of Highway 680 or the sudden expanse of tules visible after the Amtrak train leaves … Continue reading →

Can Water Agencies Work Together Sustainably? – Lessons from Metropolitan Planning

August 18, 2019 - 5:10pm
by Jay Lund It is said that, “In the US, we hate government so much that we have thousands of them.”  This decentralization has advantages, but poses problems for integration. Integration is easy to say, and hard to do.  Integration … Continue reading →

What Water is Covered by the Clean Water Act?

August 11, 2019 - 4:36pm
by Karrigan Bork It is important if a stream, river, wetland, or even a dry ditch is protected by the Clean Water Act (CWA). The CWA is a federal law “to restore and maintain the chemical, physical, and biological integrity … Continue reading →

Groundwater Law – Physical – “the water budget myth”

August 5, 2019 - 12:19pm
by Jay Lund This week’s short post is on groundwater law – from the viewpoint of physics.  Water policy, management, and human law often misunderstand how groundwater and surface water work physically. Bredehoeft, et al. (1982) distill a longstanding lament … Continue reading →

$24.6 Billion National Flood Insurance Program Debt Explained in One Chart

July 21, 2019 - 4:48pm
by Kathleen Schaefer As we are enter another hurricane season, the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) is on its 12th short-term extension since September 30, 2017.  And after having $16 billion in debt forgiven, it remains $24.6 billion in debt … Continue reading →

Ties Between the Delta and Groundwater Sustainability in California

July 14, 2019 - 4:51pm
by Mustafa Dogan, Ian Buck-Macleod, Josue Medellin-Azuara, and Jay Lund Groundwater overdraft is a major problem globally and has been a persistent and growing problem in California for decades. This overdraft is predominantly driven by the economic value of water … Continue reading →

Challenges and opportunities for integrating small and rural drinking water stakeholders in SGMA implementation

July 7, 2019 - 4:40pm
By Kristin Dobbin, Jessica Mendoza and Michael Kuo The Sustainable Groundwater Management Act (SGMA) is an historic opportunity to achieve long-term sustainable groundwater management and protect drinking water supplies for hundreds of small and rural low-income communities, especially in the … Continue reading →

Drought, Fish, and Water in California

June 30, 2019 - 4:46pm
by Peter Moyle With a big collective sigh of relief, Californians rejoiced that we have largely recovered from 2012-2016 drought[1].  Streams are flowing.  Reservoirs are full. Crops are watered. Native fishes are reproducing   But this not a time for complacency; … Continue reading →

Sustaining integrated portfolios for managing water in California

June 23, 2019 - 5:20pm
by Jay Lund Summary:  This post reviews some lessons from portfolio water management in California and identifies roles for state government in facilitating development and implementation of effective portfolios.  To better align state regulations and funding with these goals, a … Continue reading →

Flood Mapping in California: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly

June 16, 2019 - 5:26pm
by Kathleen Schaefer and Nicholas Pinter FEMA flood insurance rate maps (FIRMs) are the principle tool for managing the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP).  They identify properties whose owners may be required to purchase flood insurance and help set flood … Continue reading →