California WaterBlog

Subscribe to California WaterBlog feed California WaterBlog
A biologist, economist, engineer and geologist walk onto a bar...
Updated: 4 hours 34 min ago

Evolutionary genomics informs salmon conservation

September 24, 2017 - 8:00pm
by Tasha Thompson, Michael Miller, Daniel Prince and Sean O’Rourke Spring Chinook and summer steelhead (premature migrators) have been extirpated or are in decline across most of their range while fall Chinook and winter steelhead populations (mature migrators) remain relatively healthy. … Continue reading →

Groundwater Nitrate Sources and Contamination in the Central Valley

September 17, 2017 - 8:00pm
by Katherine Ransom and Thomas Harter In California’s Central Valley, many communities depend significantly or entirely on groundwater as their drinking water supply. Studies estimate the number of private wells in the Central Valley to be on the order of … Continue reading →

Floodplains in California’s Future

September 10, 2017 - 8:00pm
by Peter Moyle, Jeff Opperman, Amber Manfree, Eric Larson, and Joan Florshiem The flooding in Houston is a reminder of the great damages that floods can cause when the defenses of an urban area are overwhelmed.  It is hard to … Continue reading →

The Little Shasta River: A model for sustaining our national heritage

September 5, 2017 - 12:30am
by Ann Willis, Rob Lusardi, Alex Hart, Susan Hart, Blair Hart, Andrew Braugh, Amy Campbell, Ada Fowler Rancher: farms. Conservationist: fish. Researcher: science. Too often, identity is used to divide us. Stereotypes are used to stake out conflicting positions. It’s … Continue reading →

Preliminary Analysis of Hurricane Harvey Flooding in Harris County, Texas

September 1, 2017 - 10:02am
by Nicholas Pinter, Nicholas Santos, and Rui Hui Located in Harris County, Texas, Houston is the 4th most populous city in the US.  The flooding now unfolding in the Houston area is a human and economic disaster likely to rank … Continue reading →

Trump Killed Obama’s Flood Protection Rule Two Weeks Ago

August 30, 2017 - 1:29pm
by Nicholas Pinter This post was originally published as an op-ed in Fortune. Whether or not you like President Donald Trump, the current administration has not been gifted with great timing. Just 10 days before Hurricane Harvey made landfall, the … Continue reading →

We hold our convenient truths to be self-evident – Dangerous ideas in California water

August 27, 2017 - 8:00pm
by Jay Lund Success in water management requires broad agreement and coalitions.  But people often seem to group themselves into communities of interests and ideology, which see complex water problems differently.  Each group tends to hold different truths to be … Continue reading →

Habitat Preferences of various Delta species

August 20, 2017 - 8:00pm
Like fish, the different human professions involved in the Delta have different habitat preferences: Lawyers: high turbidity and fear, complex egosystems, either high and cynical levels of expectation, abundant funds Engineers: high clarity, data-rich nutrient sources, high expectation concentrations, abundant … Continue reading →

California WaterFix and Delta Smelt

August 13, 2017 - 8:00pm
by Peter Moyle and James Hobbs The delta smelt is on a trajectory towards extinction in the wild.  Heading into 2017, the spawning adult population was at an all-time low although this past wet winter has apparently seen a small … Continue reading →

Small, self-sufficient water systems continue to battle a hidden drought

August 6, 2017 - 10:06pm
by Amanda Fencl and Meghan Klasic California’s drought appears over, at least above ground. As of April 2017, reservoirs were around 2 million acre feet above normal with record breaking snowpack . This is great news for the 75% of Californians that … Continue reading →

Fish, flows, and 5937 – legal challenges on the Santa Maria River

July 30, 2017 - 8:00pm
by Karrigan Bork, JD, PhD Driving down the 101, you cross a half-mile long bridge over the Santa Maria River into the city of Santa Maria, California. It’s a large bridge, with big levees to constrain the river on either … Continue reading →

Water wasted to the sea?

July 24, 2017 - 8:00am
by James E. Cloern, Jane Kay, Wim Kimmerer, Jeffrey Mount, Peter B. Moyle, and Anke Mueller-Solger This article originally appeared in the journal San Francisco Estuary and Watershed Science.   If we farmed the Central Valley or managed water supplies for … Continue reading →

A simplified method to classify streams and improve California’s water management

July 16, 2017 - 8:00pm
by Belize Lane, Sam Sandoval, and Sarah Yarnell Alterations to the natural flow regime for human water management activities have degraded river ecosystems worldwide. Such alterations are particularly destructive in regions with highly variable climates like California, where native riverine … Continue reading →

Reflections on Cadillac Desert

July 9, 2017 - 8:00pm
by Jay Lund In 1987, when Mark Reisner published his book Cadillac Desert, I had just begun professing on water management. The book went “viral,” before the word viral had its present-day internet-intoxicated meaning.  The book offered a compelling revisionist … Continue reading →

San Joaquin Valley Water Supplies – Unavoidable Variability and Uncertainty

July 2, 2017 - 8:00pm
by Brad Arnold1, Alvar Escriva-Bou2, and Jay Lund1 1 UC Davis Center for Watershed Sciences 2 Public Policy Institute of California Passage of the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act (SGMA) and the recent drought have brought attention to chronic shortages of … Continue reading →

Can Sacramento Valley reservoirs adapt to flooding with a warmer climate?

June 25, 2017 - 8:00pm
  by Jay Lund and Ann Willis Much has been written on potential effects and adaptations for California’s water supply from climate warming, particularly from changes in snowpack accumulation and melting, sea level rise, and possible overall drying or wetting … Continue reading →

Irrigation Management in the Western States, seen from overseas

June 18, 2017 - 8:00pm
by Fandi P. Nurzaman The transformation of the western United States by irrigation offers hope for developing countries looking for models to improve their irrigation system for food security or agricultural prosperity. The transformation of the American West from barren … Continue reading →

Summer Snowmelt Safety – Know the Flow Before You Go

June 11, 2017 - 8:00pm
By Megan Nguyen As recently as this weekend, winter storms have brought much snow to the Sierra Nevada after five years of drought. Warm temperatures have begun to melt the mountain snow that will flow down the valley through a … Continue reading →

Blacklock Marsh: Tidal Habitat No Panacea for Thoughtful Restoration

June 4, 2017 - 8:00pm
by John Durand and Peter Moyle Returning open tidal exchange to diked lands is a primary goal of Delta restoration, driven by the 2008 Biological Opinion from USFWS. This document requires 8000 acres of tidal and subtidal habitat to be … Continue reading →

Better Information Can Help the Environment

May 21, 2017 - 8:00pm
by Henry McCann and Alvar Escriva-Bou This blog was originally posted on the Public Policy Institute’s Viewpoints blog. We know that California’s aquatic species are at risk from a host of stressors and that drought pushes them closer to the … Continue reading →