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Updated: 4 hours 45 min ago

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 →

Drought bites harder, but agriculture remains robust

August 18, 2015 - 11:30am
By Richard Howitt, Duncan MacEwan, Josué Medellín-Azuara and Jay Lund Today we release our second annual report estimating the economic impacts from prolonged drought. More than anything, the results of our 16-page analysis of the current growing season speak to … Continue reading →

La sequía azota con mayor fuerza mas la agricultura en California sigue en pie

August 17, 2015 - 3:23pm
Richard Howitt, Duncan MacEwan, Josué Medellín-Azuara y Jay Lund Ayer presentamos nuestro segundo reporte anual sobre el impacto económico de una sequía prolongada en California. Más que cualquier otra cosa, los resultados de nuestro análisis en 16 páginas sobre la … Continue reading →

The hard work of sustainable groundwater management

August 13, 2015 - 1:39pm
By Erik Porse Under California’s new groundwater law, local agencies must adopt long-term plans for sustainably managing basins subject to critical overdraft. Preparing these plans will be challenging, requiring collaboration and compromise among water users accustomed to pumping as they … Continue reading →

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 →