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Updated: 47 min ago

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 →

Economic Tradeoffs in Groundwater Management During Drought

June 10, 2019 - 9:19pm
by Kathleen Stone and Rob Gailey Domestic well users in some areas were greatly impacted by additional agricultural groundwater pumping during California’s 2012-2016 drought, which substantially compensated for reduced surface water supplies. Implementation of the 2014 Sustainable Groundwater Management Act … Continue reading →

Some common questions on California water (Part II)

June 2, 2019 - 5:29pm
by Jay Lund and Josué Medellín-Azuara This is the second installment of answers to some common questions regarding water problems in California.  Part I examined some common questions on water supplies (questions 1-5).  Part II looks more at common questions … Continue reading →

A water portfolio planning report card for California

May 26, 2019 - 5:05pm
by Jay Lund Governor Newsom recently called for a state portfolio of actions to manage water under rapidly changing climate and other conditions.  This post reviews the state of water portfolio planning in California today. In this complex changing world, … Continue reading →

Evaluating Landscape Effects of Turf Replacement

May 19, 2019 - 5:05pm
Erik Porse, Stephanie Pincetl, Diane Pataki, and Tom Gillespie Outdoor landscapes in California use water for irrigation, especially during summer.  Outdoor water use is the largest portion of residential water use, especially in hotter inland areas and cities with larger … Continue reading →

Some common questions on California water (Part I)

May 12, 2019 - 5:05pm
by Jay Lund People are interested in California water problems, and they ask reasonable questions.  Here is a first installment of short science-based answers to some reasonable questions often heard at public and private discussions of water in California.  (Longer … Continue reading →

The California Water Model: Resilience through Failure

May 5, 2019 - 5:45pm
by Nicholas Pinter, Jay Lund, Peter Moyle A review of 170 years of water-related successes in California suggests that most successes can be traced directly to past mistakes.  California’s highly variable climate has made it a crucible for innovations in … Continue reading →

Fish are born free, but are everywhere in cages this spring

April 28, 2019 - 5:30pm
by Carson Jeffres, Eric Holmes, and Andrew Rypel State, federal, and local governments, water users, and the public are all concerned with the survival of salmon.   Over decades, and especially recent years, most salmon runs have severely declined in California. … Continue reading →

Some springtime reading on California water

April 21, 2019 - 5:30pm
Jay R. Lund, Director, Center for Watershed Sciences and Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering, University of California – Davis California is a wonderful place to study water.  So many interesting and important problems, thoughtful and insightful authors, and much … Continue reading →

When do water bonds pass? Lessons from past elections

April 14, 2019 - 5:03pm
By Cassidy Craford and Hannah Safford Californians cite drought and water-supply challenges as some of the most important environmental issues facing the state today. A whopping 85% of California voters agree that water supply is a “big problem” or “somewhat … Continue reading →

Portfolio Solutions for Safe Drinking Water – Multiple Barriers

April 7, 2019 - 5:47pm
by Jay Lund   Only some parts of the world have safe drinking water almost ubiquitously, and only in the last century.  (We lucky few!)  In these countries, drinking water safety relies on a complex portfolio of actions and accountability … Continue reading →

Climate Warming Brings New Water to California’s Delta

April 1, 2019 - 12:02am
April 1, 2019 By Nestle J. Frobish The California Department of Water Resources is working to employ the ongoing break-up of the Antarctic ice cap to provide a vast supply of water for California.  Current plans are to employ ocean … Continue reading →

Groundwater and agriculture: a comparison of managing scarcity and droughts in France and California

March 24, 2019 - 5:04pm
By Josselin Rouillard Overview of French and Californian agricultural groundwater management France and California face a common challenge of managing overdraft in intensively exploited aquifers. As of 2018, large areas of France and California have overexploited groundwater (see maps below). … Continue reading →

Portfolio Solutions for Water Supply

March 10, 2019 - 9:47pm
by Jay Lund “Water problems in the western United States, when viewed from afar, can seem tantalizingly easy to solve: all we need to do is turn off the fountains at the Bellagio, stop selling hay to China, ban golf, … Continue reading →

Portfolio Solutions for Water – Flood Management

March 3, 2019 - 5:43pm
by Jay Lund The tweet below, shows slight (but still frightening) levee overtopping this week on Cache Creek, just north of Woodland, California.  It also illustrates the combined operations of flood preparation and response, with a simultaneous floodplain evacuation order.  … Continue reading →

Tough Fish in a Harsh Place: Red Hills Roach

February 24, 2019 - 6:37pm
by Peter B. Moyle Red Hills Roach are small (adults are 60-70 mm in total length) bronzy minnows that live in a challenging environment. They survive in a few small streams that start as seeps in a hot dry landscape, … Continue reading →

The sociology of science in environmental management: Reflections on “Fields and Streams”

February 17, 2019 - 6:33pm
by Jay Lund Most readers of this blog are water management wonks who toil in the bureaucracies and professions of water management, the water-industrial complex, so to speak.  We mostly work on technical issues and internal and inter-organizational rules and … Continue reading →

Roaches of California: Hidden Biodiversity in a Native Minnow

February 10, 2019 - 6:18pm
by Peter B. Moyle   If you inspect small streams in northern California, including those that seem too small or warm for any fish, you will often see minnows swimming in the clear water. Chances are you are seeing a … Continue reading →

15 Years of the San Francisco Estuary and Watershed Sciences – Open Access Journal

February 3, 2019 - 6:27pm
By Lisa Howard originally published January 21, 2019 When the peer-reviewed journal San Francisco Estuary and Watershed Science launched fifteen years ago, the editors chose what was then a somewhat new model of scientific publication known as “open access.” At … Continue reading →

Droughts and progress – Lessons from California’s 2012-2016 Drought

January 27, 2019 - 5:30pm
By Jay Lund, Josue Medellin, John Durand, and Kathleen Stone Droughts and floods have always tested water management, driven water systems improvements, and helped water organizations and users maintain focus and discipline.  California’s 2012-2016 drought and the very wet 2017 … Continue reading →