California WaterBlog

Subscribe to California WaterBlog feed California WaterBlog
A biologist, economist, engineer and geologist walk onto a bar...
Updated: 5 hours 23 min ago

Science takes flight: aerial imagery provides new opportunities and insights

January 10, 2016 - 9:00pm
By Devon Lambert Remote sensing is all the rage as we start the New Year, largely due to its ability to exponentially increase our areas of analysis for research. What used to take us weeks to survey with traditional field … Continue reading →

ENSO it Begins? The 2016 Drought – so far – January 3

January 3, 2016 - 8:16pm
By Jay Lund “One afternoon they take me … to witness a great religious ceremony. It is the invocation to the gods for rain.” John Wesley Powell (1895, p. 338) 2016 starts with slightly above average precipitation and snowpack and … Continue reading →

The Earth is Falling! – Land Subsidence and Water Management in California

December 27, 2015 - 9:00pm
By Jay Lund, Thomas Harter, Rob Gaily, Rick Frank, and Graham Fogg Groundwater problems are mostly invisible.  However, as California has come to rely more on groundwater during the drought, land subsidence from groundwater drawdown and accumulating overdraft has become … Continue reading →

Comments to SWRCB: Regulation for Measuring and Reporting Water Diversion

December 16, 2015 - 9:00pm
By Henry McCann, Elisa Blanco, Alvar Escriva-Bou, Ellen Hanak, Jay Lund, Bonnie Magnuson-Skeels, Andrew Tweet[1] Governor Brown signed Senate Bill 88 on June 24, 2015, adding provisions to the California Water Code for stricter measurement and reporting for surface water … Continue reading →

Improving mandatory State cutbacks of urban water use for a 5th year of drought

December 13, 2015 - 5:00pm
By Jay R. Lund There is usually great uncertainty about when a drought will end, but certainty that longer droughts bring tougher economic and ecosystem conditions as water in aquifers and reservoirs is further depleted.  Long droughts, like the current one, … Continue reading →

California’s groundwater – basics, laws, and beyond

December 7, 2015 - 7:17pm
By Chris Austin Groundwater has been receiving a lot of attention lately, and for good reason. California is the heaviest groundwater user in the nation, and our use is increasing after recent, multiple dry years. The Sustainable Groundwater Supply Act … Continue reading →

Rising to El Niño’s challenges – and opportunities

November 29, 2015 - 2:01pm
By Nicholas Pinter The much-anticipated El Niño has now arrived, with increased potential for heavy rain and snowfall, including the possibility of localized flooding, mudslides and other hazards. While extreme storms, flooding and other natural disasters challenge society to protect … Continue reading →

Keep California’s water ‘Maven’ afloat

November 24, 2015 - 10:41am
The nonprofit Maven’s Notebook has become the daily go-to place for the latest California water news and information, including meeting summaries, keynote speeches and digests of ponderous documents. It’s a one-person operation, and that person, Chris Austin (aka “Maven”), needs your donations … Continue reading →

Measuring the effectiveness of ‘environmental flows’

November 18, 2015 - 7:18pm
By Ann Willis and Andrew Nichols In the early fall of 2012, an unusually large number of Chinook salmon were returning to the Klamath River, straddling the California-Oregon border. Many of those fish were expected to swim upstream to the … Continue reading →

Finally, a one-stop shop for locating California’s fishes

November 8, 2015 - 3:34pm
By Nick Santos “Where?” The question is foundational to conservation biology and policy. To take a conservation action, you need to know where to act. And, yet, for decades stewards and researchers of aquatic fauna have been sorely lacking in … Continue reading →

Watering up Halloween, California style

October 28, 2015 - 4:03pm
By Ghost Writer What better way to spook Californians this Halloween than to appear as a slobbering “Godzilla El Niño.” Or draped in a bedsheet as Godzilla’s opponent, “The Blob,” the amoeba-shaped patch of unusually warm Pacific water blocking storms … Continue reading →

An update on California fishes of ‘special concern’

October 22, 2015 - 8:00pm
By Peter Moyle Three-fourths of California’s native fishes are now officially designated as being in trouble, or potentially so. The good news is that not all of these species – 93 of the total 123 native fishes today – have … Continue reading →

Capturing El Niño for the underground

October 13, 2015 - 8:13pm
By Philip Bachand, Helen Dahlke, William Horwath, Thomas Harter and Toby O’Geen A much-anticipated “Godzilla” El Niño this winter may refill California’s drought-diminished reservoirs, but it won’t do much to restock the severely depleted aquifers we rely upon to get … Continue reading →

Water conservation for the birds

October 6, 2015 - 6:03pm
By Jay Lund People who save water like to know their conserving is doing some good, such as sustaining economic growth, building municipal reserves for longer droughts or supporting the environment. But many urban residents are concerned their water savings … Continue reading →

Time-lapse river videos expose nature in the raw

October 1, 2015 - 7:13pm
By Ryan Peek Thanks to its Mediterranean climate, California swings from one extreme to another — severe drought, raging wildfires, big floods. These forces often interact and amplify, as we saw all too well this past summer in the scorching of … Continue reading →

The banality of California’s ‘1,200-year’ drought

September 23, 2015 - 5:36pm
By Jay Lund California’s ongoing drought will continue to break records and grab headlines, but it is unlikely to be especially rare from a water policy and management perspective. Estimates of the current drought’s rarity range from once in 15 … Continue reading →

How research programs stack up — a photo essay

September 21, 2015 - 7:00pm
By Jay Lund Riding into work the other day, I was thinking how our understanding of hard problems requires understanding a lot of pieces and how those pieces fit together – sort of like how a pile of bricks gets … Continue reading →

For a change in Delta perspective, move a few feet

September 9, 2015 - 6:17pm
By Jay Lund Each year my family takes a week’s vacation in the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta on our old sailboat. We often follow some Delta veterans who show us new places. As an engineering professor working on California’s water problems, … Continue reading →

Delta smelt’s unsung relative seems verging on extinction, too

August 30, 2015 - 10:00pm
By James Hobbs and Peter Moyle Another native fish of the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta appears to be rivaling the cliffhanger status of the delta smelt. In the past two years, the lesser-known longfin smelt has slipped down to the single … Continue reading →

Guidance for putting new groundwater law on the ground

August 26, 2015 - 11:24pm
By Thomas Harter, Vicki Kretsinger Grabert and Tim Parker A group that helps shape California groundwater policy has proposed several ideas for state consideration in implementing the 2014 Sustainable Groundwater Management Act (SGMA). The Contemporary Groundwater Issues Council of the … Continue reading →