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Updated: 2 hours 35 min ago

Who governs California’s drinking water systems?

September 1, 2019 - 4:45pm
By Kristin Dobbin and Amanda Fencl A key feature of California’s drinking water system is the large number of individual water systems. There are approximately 3,000 Community Water Systems (CWSs) in the state, meaning systems that serve a residential population … Continue reading →

Remarkable Suisun Marsh: a bright spot for fish in the San Francisco Estuary

August 25, 2019 - 5:00pm
by Teejay O’Rear and Peter Moyle To most people, Suisun Marsh is either the seemingly blank area visible at 70 MPH from the north side of Highway 680 or the sudden expanse of tules visible after the Amtrak train leaves … Continue reading →

Can Water Agencies Work Together Sustainably? – Lessons from Metropolitan Planning

August 18, 2019 - 5:10pm
by Jay Lund It is said that, “In the US, we hate government so much that we have thousands of them.”  This decentralization has advantages, but poses problems for integration. Integration is easy to say, and hard to do.  Integration … Continue reading →

What Water is Covered by the Clean Water Act?

August 11, 2019 - 4:36pm
by Karrigan Bork It is important if a stream, river, wetland, or even a dry ditch is protected by the Clean Water Act (CWA). The CWA is a federal law “to restore and maintain the chemical, physical, and biological integrity … Continue reading →

Groundwater Law – Physical – “the water budget myth”

August 5, 2019 - 12:19pm
by Jay Lund This week’s short post is on groundwater law – from the viewpoint of physics.  Water policy, management, and human law often misunderstand how groundwater and surface water work physically. Bredehoeft, et al. (1982) distill a longstanding lament … Continue reading →

$24.6 Billion National Flood Insurance Program Debt Explained in One Chart

July 21, 2019 - 4:48pm
by Kathleen Schaefer As we are enter another hurricane season, the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) is on its 12th short-term extension since September 30, 2017.  And after having $16 billion in debt forgiven, it remains $24.6 billion in debt … Continue reading →

Ties Between the Delta and Groundwater Sustainability in California

July 14, 2019 - 4:51pm
by Mustafa Dogan, Ian Buck-Macleod, Josue Medellin-Azuara, and Jay Lund Groundwater overdraft is a major problem globally and has been a persistent and growing problem in California for decades. This overdraft is predominantly driven by the economic value of water … Continue reading →

Challenges and opportunities for integrating small and rural drinking water stakeholders in SGMA implementation

July 7, 2019 - 4:40pm
By Kristin Dobbin, Jessica Mendoza and Michael Kuo The Sustainable Groundwater Management Act (SGMA) is an historic opportunity to achieve long-term sustainable groundwater management and protect drinking water supplies for hundreds of small and rural low-income communities, especially in the … Continue reading →

Drought, Fish, and Water in California

June 30, 2019 - 4:46pm
by Peter Moyle With a big collective sigh of relief, Californians rejoiced that we have largely recovered from 2012-2016 drought[1].  Streams are flowing.  Reservoirs are full. Crops are watered. Native fishes are reproducing   But this not a time for complacency; … Continue reading →

Sustaining integrated portfolios for managing water in California

June 23, 2019 - 5:20pm
by Jay Lund Summary:  This post reviews some lessons from portfolio water management in California and identifies roles for state government in facilitating development and implementation of effective portfolios.  To better align state regulations and funding with these goals, a … Continue reading →

Flood Mapping in California: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly

June 16, 2019 - 5:26pm
by Kathleen Schaefer and Nicholas Pinter FEMA flood insurance rate maps (FIRMs) are the principle tool for managing the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP).  They identify properties whose owners may be required to purchase flood insurance and help set flood … Continue reading →

Economic Tradeoffs in Groundwater Management During Drought

June 10, 2019 - 9:19pm
by Kathleen Stone and Rob Gailey Domestic well users in some areas were greatly impacted by additional agricultural groundwater pumping during California’s 2012-2016 drought, which substantially compensated for reduced surface water supplies. Implementation of the 2014 Sustainable Groundwater Management Act … Continue reading →

Some common questions on California water (Part II)

June 2, 2019 - 5:29pm
by Jay Lund and Josué Medellín-Azuara This is the second installment of answers to some common questions regarding water problems in California.  Part I examined some common questions on water supplies (questions 1-5).  Part II looks more at common questions … Continue reading →

A water portfolio planning report card for California

May 26, 2019 - 5:05pm
by Jay Lund Governor Newsom recently called for a state portfolio of actions to manage water under rapidly changing climate and other conditions.  This post reviews the state of water portfolio planning in California today. In this complex changing world, … Continue reading →

Evaluating Landscape Effects of Turf Replacement

May 19, 2019 - 5:05pm
Erik Porse, Stephanie Pincetl, Diane Pataki, and Tom Gillespie Outdoor landscapes in California use water for irrigation, especially during summer.  Outdoor water use is the largest portion of residential water use, especially in hotter inland areas and cities with larger … Continue reading →

Some common questions on California water (Part I)

May 12, 2019 - 5:05pm
by Jay Lund People are interested in California water problems, and they ask reasonable questions.  Here is a first installment of short science-based answers to some reasonable questions often heard at public and private discussions of water in California.  (Longer … Continue reading →

The California Water Model: Resilience through Failure

May 5, 2019 - 5:45pm
by Nicholas Pinter, Jay Lund, Peter Moyle A review of 170 years of water-related successes in California suggests that most successes can be traced directly to past mistakes.  California’s highly variable climate has made it a crucible for innovations in … Continue reading →

Fish are born free, but are everywhere in cages this spring

April 28, 2019 - 5:30pm
by Carson Jeffres, Eric Holmes, and Andrew Rypel State, federal, and local governments, water users, and the public are all concerned with the survival of salmon.   Over decades, and especially recent years, most salmon runs have severely declined in California. … Continue reading →

Some springtime reading on California water

April 21, 2019 - 5:30pm
Jay R. Lund, Director, Center for Watershed Sciences and Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering, University of California – Davis California is a wonderful place to study water.  So many interesting and important problems, thoughtful and insightful authors, and much … Continue reading →

When do water bonds pass? Lessons from past elections

April 14, 2019 - 5:03pm
By Cassidy Craford and Hannah Safford Californians cite drought and water-supply challenges as some of the most important environmental issues facing the state today. A whopping 85% of California voters agree that water supply is a “big problem” or “somewhat … Continue reading →