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A biologist, economist, engineer and geologist walk onto a bar...
Updated: 5 hours 32 min ago

Water giveaways during a drought invite conflict

March 23, 2015 - 5:07pm
                                                This article first ran in the San Francisco Chronicle on March 20, 2015. By Jay Lund … Continue reading →

Prepare for extinction of delta smelt

March 18, 2015 - 8:17pm
By Peter Moyle I saw my first delta smelt in 1972, during my first fall as an assistant professor at UC Davis. I was on a California Department of Fish and Wildlife trawl survey to learn about the fishes of … Continue reading →

Salmon finding a home in my backyard – Could it be?

March 11, 2015 - 8:20pm
By Peter Moyle The sound of splashing drew me to the stream. A dark finned back cut the surface. Salmon? The fish came into view and its snout was a giveaway, maroon-hued and curved like a hook. This was a … Continue reading →

Creating effective groundwater sustainability plans

March 4, 2015 - 10:21pm
Jay Lund, Thomas Harter, Robert Gailey, Graham Fogg, Richard Frank, Helen Dahlke, Timothy Ginn, Sam Sandoval Solis, Thomas Young — UC Davis Andrew Fisher, Ruth Langridge — UC Santa Cruz Joshua Viers, Thomas Harmon — UC Merced Patricia Holden, Arturo … Continue reading →

The 2015 Drought so far – March 1

February 28, 2015 - 4:51pm
By Jay Lund Droughts are strange, and this one is becoming scarier. February began with a nice few stormy days, but has since looked like this January – very dry. And so far, the March forecast is not wet. At … Continue reading →

21st Century Delta: Dutch lessons on levee design, prioritization

February 26, 2015 - 7:37am
This is the second of an intermittent series of articles on the future of the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta. By Jay Lund In any lowland, levees define how humans live and how they disrupt native habitats. This is as true for … Continue reading →

21st Century Delta: Reconciling the desired with the possible

February 19, 2015 - 7:52pm
This is this first in an intermittent series of articles on the future of the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta. By Steven Culberson Estuaries are hard places to understand and even harder to explain. Estuarine scientists, myself included, have struggled to learn … Continue reading →

The romance of rain barrels

February 8, 2015 - 9:46pm
By Jay Lund Imagine capturing some of the heavy rain that has been draining off Northern California roofs lately to water yards this summer, for what will likely be a fourth year of drought. The drought has generated interest in … Continue reading →

Rain or shine, California drought still kicking

February 4, 2015 - 2:46pm
Feb. 4, 2015 drought update on Capital Public Radio By Jay Lund Odds are exceedingly good that February will top January’s contribution to precipitation in California. It’s hard to be drier than essentially zero rain and snowfall. The state’s driest … Continue reading →

How dam operators can breathe more life into rivers

February 1, 2015 - 4:40pm
By Sarah Yarnell Dams are no friend to biodiversity. Once impounded, a river answers first and foremost to human needs, be it water supply, energy production or flood protection. Releases are measured and timed to satisfy these demands. As a result, … Continue reading →

Demystifying mist as a source of water supply

January 26, 2015 - 9:12pm
By Jay Lund In some of the world’s driest places, atmospheric moisture is a major source of water for native ecosystems. Some algae, plants and insects in the Israeli and Namibian deserts get much of their water from fog, dew and … Continue reading →

A salmon success story during the California drought

January 19, 2015 - 11:07pm
Looking back on 2014, it’s hard not to feel despair for California salmon. With drought-stricken rivers dangerously warm and slow for spring migration, the government was giving millions of young hatchery salmon a lift to the Pacific by truck and … Continue reading →

The 2015 drought – so far

January 5, 2015 - 10:30pm
By Jay Lund The California Department of Water Resources does a great job assembling data that can give insights on water conditions during the ongoing drought. They update the information daily (which can be addictive for some of us) on … Continue reading →

Drought a ghost of Christmas past — and present

December 20, 2014 - 6:49pm
By Peter Moyle I love this cartoon because it says so much about water and droughts in California. Alan Marciochi drew this during the 1976-77 drought. He knew what he was drawing. A farm boy from Los Banos with a degree … Continue reading →

New environmentalism needed for California water

December 9, 2014 - 7:05pm
By Jay Lund California needs a new environmentalism to set a more effective and sustainable green bar for the nation and even the world. For decades, we have taken a “just say no” approach to stop, prevent or blunt human … Continue reading →

Reconciling fish and fowl with floods and farming

December 2, 2014 - 10:14pm
By Robyn Suddeth Floodplains are extremely productive habitats for native fish and birds, yet floodplains in California are cut off from rivers by levees and development. The loss of this severed habitat threatens many native species that evolved to take … Continue reading →

How engineers see the water glass in California

November 24, 2014 - 7:54pm
How do engineers see the water glass in California? The same as they did two years ago when this blog was first posted, though with today’s drought the glass is perhaps down to a quarter full — or three-quarters empty.  … Continue reading →

Shaping water storage in California

November 20, 2014 - 9:00am
By Jay Lund, Maurice Hall and Anthony Saracino With the continuation of California’s historic drought and the recent passage of Proposition 1, the potential value of additional water storage in the state is an area of vigorous discussion. In a new study released … Continue reading →

Aquatic plants: unsung but prime salmon habitat

November 13, 2014 - 9:47pm
By Robert Lusardi and Ann Willis For decades, California’s management and restoration of salmon and trout populations have focused on principles rooted in coastal redwood streams. These concepts portray ideal salmonid habitat as deep pools, shallow riffles and “large woody … Continue reading →

Groundwater security, for the long term

November 4, 2014 - 9:41pm
By Lauren Adams Under recently enacted legislation, local agencies in California are required for the first time to manage groundwater pumping and recharge sustainably. The law empowers local groundwater agencies to manage and use groundwater “without causing undesirable results,” leaving … Continue reading →