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Instream flows: Five features of effective summer flow strategies

July 10, 2016 - 8:00pm
By Ann Willis As summer begins and stream flows drop throughout California, concerns resurface about whether there’s enough water to support critical ecosystems. Environmental flows have long been a contentious issue, often presented in conflict with existing water use. But … Continue reading →

How bad is water management in California?

June 26, 2016 - 8:02pm
by Jay Lund California’s combination of climate, native ecosystems, and human uses makes water management inherently hard, unsatisfactory, and evolving.  California is doomed to have difficult and controversial water problems. No matter how successful we are. California is one of … Continue reading →

California Water Made Simple

June 19, 2016 - 8:01pm
Celebrating end of the academic year, and the need to grade papers, here is a reprise post from January 29, 2014. There’s only so many acre-feet of water jargon the public can absorb during a drought. Here’s a primer that … Continue reading →

Trump’s Dubious Drought Claims

June 12, 2016 - 8:00pm
By Vanessa Schipani This post originally appeared on June 9, 2016 on The original post can be found here. Peter Moyle, Associate Director at the UC Davis Center for Watershed Sciences, and Jeffrey Mount, Senior Fellow at the Public … Continue reading →

Cue the Frogs! Water signatures, environmental cues and climate change

June 5, 2016 - 8:00pm
By Ryan Peek, Helen Dahlke, and Sarah Yarnell An organism’s success relies on responding to environmental cues that trigger activities such as breeding, migration, feeding, predator evasion, etc. Responses can be finely tuned to specific cues, or may require multiple … Continue reading →

Water and salt exports from the Delta – A tale of two plots

May 29, 2016 - 8:00pm
By Jay Lund and William Fleenor Where does water exported from the Delta come from?  And where does the salt in Delta exports come from? Water and salt exported from the Delta comes from several sources: Sacramento River (largest high-quality … Continue reading →

Understanding predation impacts on Delta native fishes

May 22, 2016 - 8:00pm
By Peter Moyle, Andrew Sih, Anna Steel, Carson Jeffres, William Bennett of University of California, Davis. Will endangered fishes, such as Chinook salmon, delta smelt, and longfin smelt, benefit from control of predators, especially of striped bass? This question is … Continue reading →

SGMA and the Challenge of Groundwater Management Sustainability

May 15, 2016 - 8:00pm
By Bill Blomquist It isn’t just the groundwater that has to be sustainable; it’s the management too. That’s why the title of this post shifts from the more familiar “sustainable groundwater management” to “groundwater management sustainability.” This perspective doesn’t come … Continue reading →

Inevitable Changes to Water in California

May 8, 2016 - 8:00pm
By Jay Lund This op-ed piece was originally featured in the Sacramento Bee. “Denial ain’t just a river in Egypt.” (anonymous) Water is always important for California, as a dry place with a boisterous economy and unique ecosystems. A growing … Continue reading →

The Collapse of Water Exports – Los Angeles, 1914

May 1, 2016 - 8:00pm
by Jay Lund “In February, 1914, the rainfall in the Mojave Desert region exceeded by nearly fifty per cent in three days the average annual precipitation. Where the steel siphon crosses Antelope valley at the point of greatest depression, an … Continue reading →

Conservation of inland trout populations in California

April 24, 2016 - 8:00pm
by Robert Lusardi This article originally appeared in California Trout’s The Current. For the full issue, click here. Native fish conservation and recovery is an onerous task.  While there are many threats, hybridization has played an integral role in the … Continue reading →

California’s Delta-Groundwater Nexus: Delta Effects of Ending Central Valley Overdraft?

April 17, 2016 - 8:00pm
By Timothy Nelson, Heidi Chou, Prudentia Zikalala, Jay Lund, Rui Hui, and Josué Medellín–Azuara Surface water and groundwater management are often tightly linked, even when linkage is not intended or expected. This link has special importance in drier regions, such … Continue reading →

Sailing the Seas of Data Discovery

April 10, 2016 - 8:00pm
by Megan Nguyen Which display is more engaging to you? The table or the map? Do you remember a time when you really needed to find something in your room that you know you for certain have but can’t remember … Continue reading →

ENSO the Wet Season Ends (almost) – March 31, 2016

April 3, 2016 - 8:00pm
By Jay Lund Summary of conditions March 2016 has been unusually wet, and quite a contrast to February.  The “Godzilla” El Nino this year has been a bit “Gonzo”, but overall has brought a welcome above average precipitation for northern … Continue reading →

Water managers drop the ball on Hetch Hetchy

April 1, 2016 - 12:01am
By Nan W. Frobish Visitors to Yosemite’s iconic Hetch Hetchy reservoir are doing a double-take. Instead of seeing the majestic backdrop of the Sierra Nevada reflected in the pristine mountain water, they are now greeted by millions of black balls … Continue reading →

“Toilet to tap”: A potential high quality water source for California

March 27, 2016 - 8:00pm
By Nathaniel Homan Reusing water is not a new concept to many Californians. Many municipalities across California have facilities that treat wastewater to high standards, which allows it to be reused for agricultural irrigation, landscape irrigation, and industrial use. Other … Continue reading →

Floods, farms, fowl, and fish: a confluence of successful management

March 20, 2016 - 8:00pm
By Eric Holmes The floodplain smorgasbord is open! Wrapping up a successful fifth season, the Knaggs Nigiri  project places fall run juvenile Chinook salmon in inundated rice fields during a six week period in February and early March, the non-rice-growing season.  … Continue reading →

Using Game Theory To Encourage Cooperation in Levee System Planning

March 13, 2016 - 8:00pm
By Rui Hui, Jay Lund and Kaveh Madani Levees protect land from floods, but not perfectly. Different levees on a river often are controlled by different agencies or groups. A landowner on one riverbank sees the levee system differently from … Continue reading →

Let people pay what water is worth – Sell your conserved water

March 6, 2016 - 7:00pm
  By Jay Lund During dry years, water becomes scarcer, and, economically, people should pay more for it. But most urban residents do not pay directly for water scarcity. We only pay the financial cost of providing water through pipes, … Continue reading →

ENSO the Drought Strikes Back! The 2016 Drought so far – March 1

February 28, 2016 - 8:53pm
By Jay Lund Summary of conditions February 2016 has been dry, despite El Nino-besotted promises of aqueous abundance. There is sometimes a difference between climatic conditions and hydrologic reality (and economic reality). Annual precipitation and snowpack are now about average … Continue reading →