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Updated: 1 hour 7 min ago

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 →

Is Ecosystem-Based Management Legal for the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta?

March 8, 2018 - 11:16am
by Brian Gray (PPIC Water Policy Center), William Stelle (former NOAA Fisheries West Coast Administrator), and Leon Szeptycki (Stanford University, Water in the West)* Introduction In a recent three-part series posted on this website, a group of independent experts (including one … Continue reading →

Back to Dry – Get Organized and Prepared for Drought Again

March 4, 2018 - 6:16pm
Jay Lund Despite this week’s rain and snow, California is back to dry conditions again after a very wet 2017.  With about four weeks left in the normal wet season, the Sacramento Valley is at about 65% of average precipitation … Continue reading →

Advice on Voluntary Settlements for California’s Bay-Delta Water Quality Control Plan Part 3: Science for Ecosystem Management

February 27, 2018 - 1:51pm
by Jeffrey Mount, PPIC Water Policy Center* Recommendation Improving Delta ecosystem functions under the State Water Board’s proposed Bay-Delta Water Quality Control Plan will require a complex series of changes to water and land management—and a strong science program to … Continue reading →

Advice on Voluntary Settlements for California’s Bay-Delta Water Quality Control Plan Part 2: Recommended Actions to Improve Ecological Function in the Delta

February 21, 2018 - 3:17pm
by Jeffrey Mount, PPIC Water Policy Center* Recommendation By strategically linking freshwater flow releases with the management of tidal energy and investments in landscape changes in the Delta, it is possible to improve ecological food webs and habitat for native … Continue reading →

Drought Water Right Curtailment – Analysis, Transparency, and Limits

February 18, 2018 - 6:02pm
By Jay Lund, Ben Lord, Andrew Tweet, Wesley Walker, Chad Whittington, Reed Thayer, Jeff Laird, Quinn Hart, Nicholas Santos, William Fleenor, Julia Pavicic, Lauren Adams, and Bradley Arnold Drought often means not having enough water to satisfy all water-right holders. … Continue reading →

Advice on Voluntary Settlements for California’s Bay-Delta Water Quality Control Plan Part 1: Addressing a Manageable Suite of Ecosystem Problems

February 13, 2018 - 8:53am
by Jeffrey Mount, PPIC Water Policy Center Recommendation The State Water Resources Control Board and the parties seeking to incorporate voluntary settlement agreements in the Bay-Delta Water Quality Control Plan should identify a specific, tractable set of problems that can … Continue reading →

Lessons for SGMA from other State-Local Collaborations

February 4, 2018 - 7:00pm
by Dave Owen California’s Sustainable Groundwater Management Act is known primarily for establishing statewide requirements for sustainable groundwater management.  But the statute did another important thing: it introduced an intriguing yet relatively rare model of state and local governance into … Continue reading →

Ecological Incentives for Delta Water Exports

January 24, 2018 - 1:00pm
by Jay Lund and Peter Moyle All parties in the Delta have an interest in a healthy ecosystem and in healthy water exports.  Without a healthy ecosystem, endangered species requirements increasingly intrude on water exports and Delta landowners.  Without healthy … Continue reading →

Los Angeles and the Future of Urban Water in California

January 22, 2018 - 7:46am
by Erik Porse Los Angeles is a grand American urban experiment. It brings emerging ideas into the mainstream, sometimes for better, and sometimes for worse. In the early 20th Century, it seemed fanciful to build a metropolis in a region … Continue reading →

Will Delta Smelt Have a Happy New Year?

January 14, 2018 - 7:00pm
by James Hobbs and Peter Moyle The results of 2017 surveys of Delta fishes are coming in. Already, the results are clear:  it was an unhappy year for Delta smelt. The wet year with high outflows should have created an … Continue reading →

New paths to survival for endangered winter run Chinook salmon

January 7, 2018 - 7:00pm
by Anna Sturrock and Corey Phillis Many Californians have seen headlines about endangered Sacramento River Winter Run Chinook salmon (“winter run”) on the “brink of extinction.” But not many people know exactly what winter run are, nor why they are … Continue reading →

Beginning of 2018 drought? – December 31, 2017

December 31, 2017 - 4:00pm
by Jay Lund Every year is different for water management in California. The 2012-2016 water years were among the driest and warmest on record.  2017 was the wettest year of record for much of California, with thousands of water managers … Continue reading →

Nudging progress on funding safe drinking water

December 24, 2017 - 7:00pm
by Jay Lund This year’s Nobel Prize in Economics went to Richard Thaler, who pioneered “nudging” to help people volunteer to make more personally and socially beneficial decisions.  As an example, having employees automatically enrolled for retirement contributions and then … Continue reading →

Making water for the environment count in an era of change: Cautionary tales from Australia

December 17, 2017 - 9:15pm
by Alison Whipple The specter of California drought looming again on the horizon gives renewed urgency for water policy and management reforms. Recent discussions reflect a growing recognition that our future depends on us making water count for both humans … Continue reading →

A Water Right for the Environment

December 10, 2017 - 7:00pm
by Brian Gray, Leon Szeptycki, and Barton “Buzz” Thompson California’s management of water for is not working for anyone. Environmental advocates argue that state and federal regulators have set water quality and flow standards that do not adequately protect fish … Continue reading →

A Tale of Two Fires: How Wildfires Can Both Help and Harm Our Water Supply

December 3, 2017 - 7:00pm
by Gabrielle Boisramé Now that summer is over and rain has returned to California, it appears that the dramatic 2017 fire season is finally behind us. The effects of fire season can linger, however, with the possibilities of erosion and … Continue reading →

Duel Conveyance: Delta Tunnel Dilemmas

November 19, 2017 - 7:00pm
by Jay Lund A new option has entered public discussion of Delta water supplies, having only one cross-Delta tunnel instead of two. The official State WaterFix proposal is for two tunnels (totaling 9,000 cfs capacity) under-crossing the Delta for 35 … Continue reading →