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A biologist, economist, engineer and geologist walk onto a bar...
Updated: 1 hour 13 min ago

Napa County strings together a ‘living’ river

July 29, 2015 - 9:08pm
By Amber Manfree In the historic heart of Napa Valley, a moderate climate and the alluvial soils deposited by the Napa River create perfect conditions for world-class cabernets. An acre of vines here sells for around $300,000, or 25 times … Continue reading →

Ten realities for managing the Delta

July 23, 2015 - 9:51pm
This article was originally published Feb. 26, 2013 By Peter Moyle I have been working on Delta fishes for nearly 40 years. Increasingly, I have curmudgeonly thoughts about what is needed to make the ecosystem work better. Here I present … Continue reading →

Is California’s drought a ‘new normal’ ?

July 15, 2015 - 5:54pm
By Stephen Maples Many are wondering whether the current drought is the harbinger of a drier California with more frequent and longer multi-year dry spells. Some have already jumped to this conclusion. “This is the new normal,” Gov. Jerry Brown … Continue reading →

Virtual Water vs. Real Water in California

July 5, 2015 - 11:00pm
This article was originally published Feb. 27, 2014 By Jay Lund There has been considerable kvetching during this drought about California exporting agricultural products overseas, with some saying that this implies we are virtually exporting water that we should be using in … Continue reading →

Creeks that cool down as summer heats up

June 30, 2015 - 10:00pm
By Ann Willis and Andrew Nichols Summer has just begun and conditions on many of California’s drought-stricken rivers and streams are already looking grim for cold-water fish. Endangered winter-run salmon may not survive a repeat of last summer’s nearly total … Continue reading →

How to manage drought: Ask an economist

June 23, 2015 - 6:15pm
The economics of water scarcity is crucial to sustainable water management, particularly during droughts. California has long benefited from the insights of economists, though their ranks in state water agencies are thinning. Luckily, California has a wealth of young, talented … Continue reading →

Making the most of little water — with spreadsheets

June 14, 2015 - 11:00pm
By Jenny Ta and Joshua Viers It seems inevitable that increasing numbers of California farmers will see their claims to surface water suspended this growing season as the drought persists into a fourth year. The State Water Resources Control Board said … Continue reading →

Drought killing farm jobs — even as they grow

June 8, 2015 - 6:22pm
By Josué Medellín-Azuara, Richard Howitt, Duncan MacEwan, Daniel Sumner and Jay Lund With all the news about the drought drying up farm jobs, it seems paradoxical that California agriculture actually came out a bit ahead on employment growth last year. … Continue reading →

Harsher drought impacts forecast for California agriculture

June 2, 2015 - 10:15am
By Richard Howitt, Duncan MacEwan, Josue Medellin-Azuara, Jay Lund and Daniel A. Sumner The drought is expected to be worse for California’s agricultural economy this year because of reduced water availability, according to our preliminary estimates released today. The study, … Continue reading →

Ten ways the feds can help ease drought in the West

May 27, 2015 - 3:02pm
Since the onset of California’s drought emergency 16 months ago, federal agencies and Congress have been seeking to help the state through funding and new and existing legislation. Here are 10 recommendations for new federal actions. Although many focus on … Continue reading →

Q & A on survival of delta smelt — on air and off air

May 17, 2015 - 11:38pm
Four years of severe drought and decades of huge water diversions appears to have pushed delta smelt to the point of no return. State biologists netted only a single smelt last month in trawl of 40 sites in San Francisco … Continue reading →

Getting to the big picture in groundwater management

May 10, 2015 - 8:11pm
Rob Gailey, Graham Fogg, Thomas Harter, Jay Lund, Helen Dahlke, Richard Frank, Tim Ginn, Richard Howitt, Mimi Jenkins, Bonnie Magnuson, Josué Medellín-Azuara, and Samuel Sandoval Solis The Sustainable Groundwater Management Act of 2014 creates an opportunity to establish standards for … Continue reading →

Water rationing and California’s drought

May 3, 2015 - 8:32pm
By Jay Lund California cities and water utilities will be stressed to meet the state’s aggressive urban conservation mandates in this fourth year of drought. Following Gov. Jerry Brown’s executive order, the State Water Resources Control Board developed specific reduction … Continue reading →

Jobs per drop irrigating California crops

April 28, 2015 - 9:42pm
By Josué Medellín-Azuara, Jay Lund and Richard Howitt Some of the most popular drought stories lately have been on the amount of what water needed to produce food from California, as a consumer sees it — a single almond, a head of … Continue reading →

Food prices and the California drought

April 22, 2015 - 9:25pm
By Daniel A. Sumner California’s drought has been tough on farms and especially painful for farm workers in the Central Valley. But consumers of California-produced food have been spared large price increases. Despite the severity of the drought and California’s … Continue reading →

Dollars and drops per California crop

April 14, 2015 - 11:53pm
By Josué Medellín-Azuara and Jay Lund When it comes to water, California’s irrigated agriculture is always under the public magnifying glass because it is the largest managed water use in the state and the economic base for many rural areas. … Continue reading →

Protected: SEJ Pundits Paddle Putah

April 13, 2015 - 4:55pm
There is no excerpt because this is a protected post.

Making every drop count in drought – and deluge

April 9, 2015 - 11:03am
By Joshua Viers and Graham Fogg A little publicized but highly curious part of the emergency drought legislation signed by Gov. Jerry Brown last month advances hundreds of millions of dollars to shore up and replace aging levees in flood … Continue reading →

Exotic animals deployed as Delta ‘weed whackers’

March 31, 2015 - 11:19pm
By Nestle J. Frobish Visitors to the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta are doing double takes lately as they encounter some newly introduced “biological controls” to keep a fast-spreading waterweed from damaging boat propellers and choking off waterways. Working with state water … Continue reading →

The California Drought of 2015: A preview

March 30, 2015 - 11:35am
By Jay Lund This fourth year of drought is severe, but not yet the driest ever. The drought’s impacts are worsened by record heat, which has dried out soils and raised the demands for irrigation. There is need for concern, preparation and … Continue reading →