California WaterBlog

Subscribe to California WaterBlog feed California WaterBlog
A biologist, economist, engineer and geologist walk onto a bar...
Updated: 2 hours 35 min ago

Reflections on Cadillac Desert

July 9, 2017 - 8:00pm
by Jay Lund In 1987, when Mark Reisner published his book Cadillac Desert, I had just begun professing on water management. The book went “viral,” before the word viral had its present-day internet-intoxicated meaning.  The book offered a compelling revisionist … Continue reading →

San Joaquin Valley Water Supplies – Unavoidable Variability and Uncertainty

July 2, 2017 - 8:00pm
by Brad Arnold1, Alvar Escriva-Bou2, and Jay Lund1 1 UC Davis Center for Watershed Sciences 2 Public Policy Institute of California Passage of the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act (SGMA) and the recent drought have brought attention to chronic shortages of … Continue reading →

Can Sacramento Valley reservoirs adapt to flooding with a warmer climate?

June 25, 2017 - 8:00pm
  by Jay Lund and Ann Willis Much has been written on potential effects and adaptations for California’s water supply from climate warming, particularly from changes in snowpack accumulation and melting, sea level rise, and possible overall drying or wetting … Continue reading →

Irrigation Management in the Western States, seen from overseas

June 18, 2017 - 8:00pm
by Fandi P. Nurzaman The transformation of the western United States by irrigation offers hope for developing countries looking for models to improve their irrigation system for food security or agricultural prosperity. The transformation of the American West from barren … Continue reading →

Summer Snowmelt Safety – Know the Flow Before You Go

June 11, 2017 - 8:00pm
By Megan Nguyen As recently as this weekend, winter storms have brought much snow to the Sierra Nevada after five years of drought. Warm temperatures have begun to melt the mountain snow that will flow down the valley through a … Continue reading →

Blacklock Marsh: Tidal Habitat No Panacea for Thoughtful Restoration

June 4, 2017 - 8:00pm
by John Durand and Peter Moyle Returning open tidal exchange to diked lands is a primary goal of Delta restoration, driven by the 2008 Biological Opinion from USFWS. This document requires 8000 acres of tidal and subtidal habitat to be … Continue reading →

Better Information Can Help the Environment

May 21, 2017 - 8:00pm
by Henry McCann and Alvar Escriva-Bou This blog was originally posted on the Public Policy Institute’s Viewpoints blog. We know that California’s aquatic species are at risk from a host of stressors and that drought pushes them closer to the … Continue reading →

The Future of California’s Unique Salmon and Trout: Good News, Bad News

May 16, 2017 - 11:00am
by Robert Lusardi, Peter Moyle, Patrick Samuel, and Jacob Katz California is a hot spot for endemic species, those found nowhere else in the world.  Among these species are 20 kinds of salmon and trout. That is an astonishing number … Continue reading →

Facing Extinction II: Making hard decisions

May 7, 2017 - 8:00pm
by Jason Baumsteiger and Peter Moyle In part I of our blog, we projected a bleak future for many freshwater fishes, especially in California. Some difficult decisions will need to be made to prevent extinctions or to verify them.  However … Continue reading →

Facing extinction: California fishes

April 30, 2017 - 8:00pm
by Peter Moyle and Jason Baumsteiger At least two species of California fishes appear to be facing imminent extinction in the wild: delta smelt and winter-run Chinook salmon.  These species could join about 57 other North American fishes declared extinct. … Continue reading →

GRA’s Contemporary Groundwater Issues Council weighs in on BMPs for Groundwater Sustainability Plans

April 23, 2017 - 8:00pm
by Thomas Harter, Vicki Kretsinger Grabert, Reid Bryson, and Tim Parker On May 26, 2016, eight days after the California Water Commission voted to approve emergency regulations for Groundwater Sustainability Plans, the Groundwater Resources Association (GRA) held the sixth annual workshop of … Continue reading →

Accounting for Water in the San Joaquin Valley

April 16, 2017 - 8:04pm
by Brad Arnold1, Alvar Escriva-Bou1,2, Jay Lund1, and Ellen Hanak2 University of California – Davis, Center for Watershed Sciences Public Policy Institute of California Accounting for water supplies and uses is fundamental to good water management, but it is often … Continue reading →

California’s drought and floods are over and just beginning

April 9, 2017 - 8:03pm
By Jay Lund  California is a land of extremes – where preparing for extremes must be constant and eternal. The last six years demonstrated California’s precipitation extremes. From 2012-2015, California endured one of its driest years of record.  2016 was … Continue reading →

Down the DRAIN: California gets a jump on Delta tunnels

April 1, 2017 - 12:30am
by Nan W. and Dunlay J. Frobish California took a step towards replumbing its archaic Delta water infrastructure by completing the first part of a contentious project. An intake for the first Delta tunnel was completed this fall, and with … Continue reading →

Pumping out the Inland Sea – Delta exports in a time of plenty

March 26, 2017 - 8:04pm
  By Jay Lund This is northern California’s wettest year of record, so far.  The Yolo Bypass has been flooded for most of this wet season, and is still flowing.  Are Delta water exports going to exceed the previous record … Continue reading →

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 →