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Updated: 5 hours 46 min ago

Post-drought groundwater in California: Like the economy after a deep “recession,” recovery will be slow

March 19, 2017 - 8:00pm
by Thomas Harter The 2012-2016 drought has made many of us keenly aware of how “empty” our groundwater “reservoirs” have become. As the recent series of atmospheric rivers have left us with a massive snowpack, full surface water reservoirs (with … Continue reading →

Evading Dam-Nation to Build a Working Floodplain on the Cosumnes River

March 12, 2017 - 8:00pm
by Michelaina Johnson This winter’s barrage of rain storms has driven most Central Valley rivers to the point of near record-breaking flooding, and the Cosumnes River is no exception. On February 10th, the Cosumnes hit the second highest peak flow … Continue reading →

What do stream fish do during flood flows?

March 5, 2017 - 7:00pm
By Peter B. Moyle My local stream, Putah Creek, looks like a river these days.  Water is pouring down the Glory Hole of Lake Berryessa and rushing in muddy turmoil from the ‘dry’ creeks that are its main tributaries.   The … Continue reading →

California’s Floods of 2017, so far

February 26, 2017 - 7:16pm
by Jay Lund What a wild water month!  Floods, spillway damage, and levee failures!  Mass evacuations! And Donald Trump and Barack Obama are not even remotely to blame! Flood control and preparation are vitally important for California.  Now we remember. … Continue reading →

Yolo Bypass: the inland sea of Sacramento

February 20, 2017 - 7:00pm
By Megan Nguyen Land or Sea? The recent rains early this year brought much needed relief from the five-year drought in California. Reservoirs are full, mountains are covered with snow, and flood control structures are being used, some for the … Continue reading →

Reconciling conservation and human use in the Delta

February 12, 2017 - 7:00pm
By John Durand, Peter Moyle, and Amber Manfree  In a previous blog, we presented a Grand Scheme for habitat conservation in the North Delta Arc (the Arc). This follows up on our earlier broad vision for recreating a Delta more friendly … Continue reading →

California’s Wettest Drought? – 2017

February 5, 2017 - 7:20pm
By Jay Lund Wet.  After five years of drought, most of California finally has become wet.  The mountains are exceptionally wet and covered with snow.  The state’s reservoirs are fuller than their long term average (with a few exceptions).  Flood … Continue reading →

Episode 3: “Unraveling the Knot” Water Movement in the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta – Managing Flows

January 29, 2017 - 7:00pm
By William Fleenor, Amber Manfree, and Megan Nguyen Delta water diversions have significant effects on flows and water quality within the Delta. Diversions can re-direct river flows and draw salt water inland from the sea, impacting water quality and the … Continue reading →

Episode 2: “Unraveling the Knot” Water Movement in the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta – Tidal Forces

January 25, 2017 - 5:00am
By William Fleenor, Amber Manfree, and Megan Nguyen Tides are the biggest driver of Delta flows, and in Episode 2 we look at their impacts in different locations under a variety of inflow conditions.  Tides have a twice-daily cycle in … Continue reading →

Episode 1: “Unraveling the Knot” Water movement in the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta

January 22, 2017 - 7:00pm
By Bill Fleenor, Amber Manfree, and Megan Nguyen In 2010, John DeGeorge of RMA, Inc used animated model results to illustrate specific flow and water quality issues in the Delta to the State Water Board. The Center for Watershed Sciences, … Continue reading →

Indicators of a drought ending in northern California

January 15, 2017 - 8:53pm
Jay Lund Droughts are common in California, a large, generally dry, and hydrologically complex place.  So it is hard to rely on a single index of the end or beginning of a drought.  A single storm is rarely enough to … Continue reading →

Tails of California’s Drought

January 10, 2017 - 9:39pm
by Jay Lund Storms are filling reservoirs, building snowpack, and flooding in ways not seen since the most recent California drought began in 2012.  The state’s reservoirs today contain 1.2 million acre-ft more water than the long-term average for this … Continue reading →

Out With the Old Drought and In With the New?

December 28, 2016 - 7:29am
By Jay Lund We are just a few months into this year’s wet season, and progress has been great.  Statewide, California is about 800,000 acre ft below average surface water storage for this time of year.  California’s water year began … Continue reading →

Shadow theater and data management for the Delta – a video

December 20, 2016 - 6:00am
By Amber Manfree Data and data management are persistent concerns for the Delta and California water more generally. Data Wars: A New Hope, a shadow puppet play on the subject, was shown at the 2016 Bay-Delta Science Conference in Sacramento. … Continue reading →

California, Flood Risk, and the National Flood Insurance Program

December 14, 2016 - 6:00am
by Nicholas Pinter, Rui Hui, and Kathy Schaefer Across the US and worldwide, flooding is the deadliest and most costly natural disaster.  The US National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) is an imperfect framework for reducing flood losses, but currently the … Continue reading →

How engineers see the water glass in California

December 5, 2016 - 11:44am
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.  … Continue reading →

The Coming Droughts of California in 2017 – November 27, 2016

November 27, 2016 - 6:01pm
By Jay Lund California is a big diverse place. California probably will experience droughts this year of different types in different places, and no drought at all in some places, simultaneously.  Even if conditions this year are very wet, with … Continue reading →

Human Use of Restored and Naturalized Delta Landscapes

November 20, 2016 - 7:00pm
By Brett Milligan, Assistant Professor, UC Davis Landscape Architecture and Sustainable Environmental Design and Alejo Kraus-Polk, PhD Geography candidate, UC Davis Current legislation and plans for the California Delta call for restoring tens of thousands of acres of aquatic and … Continue reading →

Allocating a Share of San Joaquin River Water to the Environment Shows Promise

November 14, 2016 - 7:00pm
By Jeffrey Mount, Brian Gray, Ellen Hanak, PPIC Water Policy Center, Peter Moyle, UC Davis Center for Watershed Sciences Introduction In September 2016, the State Water Board released its draft plan for new environmental flow requirements in the San Joaquin … Continue reading →

The North Delta Habitat Arc: an Ecosystem Strategy for Saving Fish

November 6, 2016 - 7:00pm
Peter Moyle, John Durand, Amber Manfree.  Center for Watershed Sciences, University of California, Davis. Delta native fishes are in desperate condition. Over 90% of fish sampled by diverse means belong to non-native species.  Native species such as delta smelt are … Continue reading →