California WaterBlog

Subscribe to California WaterBlog feed California WaterBlog
A biologist, economist, engineer and geologist walk onto a bar...
Updated: 19 min 34 sec ago

The Public Trust and SGMA

October 7, 2018 - 8:00pm
by Brain Gray In a recent decision in litigation over flows and salmon survival in the Scott River system, the California Court of Appeal has ruled that groundwater pumping that diminishes the volume or flow of water in a navigable … Continue reading →

Water storage successes, failures, and challenges from Proposition 1

September 9, 2018 - 8:00pm
by Jay Lund The California Water Commission recently allocated $2.7 billion from Proposition 1 bonds for eight water storage projects.  Proposition 1 was passed in 2014 to fund a range of projects, including “public purposes” of water storage projects, such … Continue reading →

Water Grabs of California, Explained Simply

August 26, 2018 - 8:00pm
by Jay Lund Your water use is a “grab” and a “waste.”  My water use is a nab, and a sacred right.  We all see water the same way, mostly, but from different perspectives. Historically, periods of progress in water … Continue reading →

Science, the Delta, and the future of San Joaquin salmon

August 21, 2018 - 10:37am
by Peter B. Moyle I feel fortunate to be a biologist in an era and place, California, where science matters.  Routine scientific studies rarely make headlines but they are relied on by decision makers because they reduce uncertainty, bit by … Continue reading →

Fish managers tasked with ranching? Conservation wins

August 12, 2018 - 8:00pm
by Ann Willis In May, the Wildlife Conservation Board (WCB) approved $2.4M for the California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) to acquire Shasta Big Springs Ranch on the Shasta River, a tributary to the Klamath River.  This follows a … Continue reading →

Killing Native Fishes for Fun and Predator Control

August 5, 2018 - 8:00pm
by Teejay A. O’Rear, John R. Durand, and Peter B. Moyle A recent posting of a short film on a 2017 fishing derby (FISHBIO 2018a) is disturbing to those of us interested in conserving our native fishes.  The film glorifies … Continue reading →

Groundwater exchange pools in Los Angeles: An innovative example of adaptive management

July 27, 2018 - 11:40am
by Erik Porse, Kathryn Mika, Stephanie Pincetl, Mark Gold, and William Blomquist Across California, Groundwater Sustainability Agencies (GSAs) are devising plans to reduce long-term overdraft. As part of the 2014 Sustainable Groundwater Management Act, GSAs will submit plans in 2020-2022, … Continue reading →

Indirect Environmental Benefits of Cannabis Cultivation Regulation

June 24, 2018 - 8:00pm
by Kathleen Stone The external pressures for cannabis cultivation and the immediate need for water use regulation may provide opportunities for broader, long-sought environmental objectives in California. Specifically, legislation and state programs regulating water use for cannabis cultivation could produce … Continue reading →

SGMA struggles to overcome marginalization of disadvantaged communities

June 10, 2018 - 8:00pm
by Kristin Dobbin Small Disadvantaged Communities (DACs), or DACs with less than 10,000 people, have long been disproportionately affected by California’s water management woes such as groundwater overdraft and pollution. Now, new research from the UC Davis Center for Environmental … Continue reading →

Guest Species – What about the nonnative species we like?

May 28, 2018 - 8:00pm
by Karrigan Bork, JD, PhD Conservationists worry about a host of nonnative species, and with good reason. Nonnative species cause north of $120 billion per year in damages in North America alone, and they present the primary extinction risk for roughly … Continue reading →

Managing Domestic Well Impacts from Overdraft and Balancing Stakeholder Interests

May 20, 2018 - 8:00pm
by Robert M. Gailey and Jay R. Lund The historic drought in California from 2012 through 2016 brought unprecedented groundwater level declines and reports of dry domestic supply wells.  This was particularly true in the Central Valley. New research on … Continue reading →

Habitat Restoration for Chinook Salmon in Putah Creek: A Success Story

May 13, 2018 - 8:00pm
by Eric Chapman, Emily Jacinto, and Peter Moyle 2017 was another good year for Chinook salmon in Putah Creek. Putah Creek is just a small stream flowing through Yolo and Solano counties, fed by releases of water from Lake Berryessa. … Continue reading →

Improving Urban Water Conservation in California

May 6, 2018 - 8:00pm
by Erik Porse The relatively dry 2017-18 winter in California resurfaced recent memories of drought conservation mandates. From 2013-16, urban water utilities complied with voluntary, then mandatory, water use limits as part of Executive Order B-37-16. Urban water utilities met … Continue reading →

Resurrecting the Delta for Desirable Fishes

April 29, 2018 - 8:00pm
by Peter Moyle, Carson Jeffres, John Durand The Delta is described in many ways.  When extolling the Delta as a tourist destination, it is described as a place of bucolic beauty; islands of productive farmland are threaded by meandering channels of … Continue reading →

Modeling, Measuring, and Comparing Crop Evapotranspiration in the Delta

April 23, 2018 - 8:00am
by Jesse Jankowski Crop evapotranspiration (ET) is the biggest managed loss of water in California, accounting for roughly 80% of human net water use, and includes crop water applications transpired from plants and evaporated from soil. Methods to estimate ET … Continue reading →

Reality Check of California Water Fix Model results in a Critical Flow Year

April 15, 2018 - 8:40pm
by William Fleenor In 2008 a group from the Center for Watershed Sciences (including this author), joined by an economist from the Public Policy Institute, published findings that suggested that an alternative conveyance for Sacramento River water might improve ecological … Continue reading →

Groundwater Recovery in California – Still Behind the Curve

April 8, 2018 - 8:00pm
by Thomas Harter and Bill Brewster California has a unique and highly variable climate in which drought reoccurs periodically. California began this century in a dry period from 1999 to 2005, and experienced droughts from 2007 to 2009, and 2012 … Continue reading →

Brown is the new gold: Water strategy is starting to pay dividends

April 1, 2018 - 8:11pm
by Nan Frobish Governor Brown has unveiled a sweeping new strategy, “Brown is the New Gold,” to simultaneously make California more robust to drought, secure private water rights, buffer California’s growers against disastrous losses from a looming national trade war, … Continue reading →

California’s Water Data Problems are Symptoms of Inchoate Science and Technical Activities

March 26, 2018 - 10:48am
“The truth is lost when there is too much contention about it.” – Publius Syrus (43 BC) by Jay Lund In 2016, California’s legislature passed AB 1755, the Open and Transparent Water Data Act, requiring that State agencies provide water … Continue reading →

How engineers see the water glass in California

March 18, 2018 - 6:39pm
It looks like 2018 will be a dry year, with snowpack about 50%.  How do engineers see the water glass in California?  Mostly the same as they did six years ago in the original version of this post, but we’ve … Continue reading →