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Groundwater exchange pools in Los Angeles: An innovative example of adaptive management

July 27, 2018 - 11:40am
by Erik Porse, Kathryn Mika, Stephanie Pincetl, Mark Gold, and William Blomquist Across California, Groundwater Sustainability Agencies (GSAs) are devising plans to reduce long-term overdraft. As part of the 2014 Sustainable Groundwater Management Act, GSAs will submit plans in 2020-2022, … Continue reading →

Indirect Environmental Benefits of Cannabis Cultivation Regulation

June 24, 2018 - 8:00pm
by Kathleen Stone The external pressures for cannabis cultivation and the immediate need for water use regulation may provide opportunities for broader, long-sought environmental objectives in California. Specifically, legislation and state programs regulating water use for cannabis cultivation could produce … Continue reading →

SGMA struggles to overcome marginalization of disadvantaged communities

June 10, 2018 - 8:00pm
by Kristin Dobbin Small Disadvantaged Communities (DACs), or DACs with less than 10,000 people, have long been disproportionately affected by California’s water management woes such as groundwater overdraft and pollution. Now, new research from the UC Davis Center for Environmental … Continue reading →

Guest Species – What about the nonnative species we like?

May 28, 2018 - 8:00pm
by Karrigan Bork, JD, PhD Conservationists worry about a host of nonnative species, and with good reason. Nonnative species cause north of $120 billion per year in damages in North America alone, and they present the primary extinction risk for roughly … Continue reading →

Managing Domestic Well Impacts from Overdraft and Balancing Stakeholder Interests

May 20, 2018 - 8:00pm
by Robert M. Gailey and Jay R. Lund The historic drought in California from 2012 through 2016 brought unprecedented groundwater level declines and reports of dry domestic supply wells.  This was particularly true in the Central Valley. New research on … Continue reading →

Habitat Restoration for Chinook Salmon in Putah Creek: A Success Story

May 13, 2018 - 8:00pm
by Eric Chapman, Emily Jacinto, and Peter Moyle 2017 was another good year for Chinook salmon in Putah Creek. Putah Creek is just a small stream flowing through Yolo and Solano counties, fed by releases of water from Lake Berryessa. … Continue reading →

Improving Urban Water Conservation in California

May 6, 2018 - 8:00pm
by Erik Porse The relatively dry 2017-18 winter in California resurfaced recent memories of drought conservation mandates. From 2013-16, urban water utilities complied with voluntary, then mandatory, water use limits as part of Executive Order B-37-16. Urban water utilities met … Continue reading →

Resurrecting the Delta for Desirable Fishes

April 29, 2018 - 8:00pm
by Peter Moyle, Carson Jeffres, John Durand The Delta is described in many ways.  When extolling the Delta as a tourist destination, it is described as a place of bucolic beauty; islands of productive farmland are threaded by meandering channels of … Continue reading →

Modeling, Measuring, and Comparing Crop Evapotranspiration in the Delta

April 23, 2018 - 8:00am
by Jesse Jankowski Crop evapotranspiration (ET) is the biggest managed loss of water in California, accounting for roughly 80% of human net water use, and includes crop water applications transpired from plants and evaporated from soil. Methods to estimate ET … Continue reading →

Reality Check of California Water Fix Model results in a Critical Flow Year

April 15, 2018 - 8:40pm
by William Fleenor In 2008 a group from the Center for Watershed Sciences (including this author), joined by an economist from the Public Policy Institute, published findings that suggested that an alternative conveyance for Sacramento River water might improve ecological … Continue reading →

Groundwater Recovery in California – Still Behind the Curve

April 8, 2018 - 8:00pm
by Thomas Harter and Bill Brewster California has a unique and highly variable climate in which drought reoccurs periodically. California began this century in a dry period from 1999 to 2005, and experienced droughts from 2007 to 2009, and 2012 … Continue reading →

Brown is the new gold: Water strategy is starting to pay dividends

April 1, 2018 - 8:11pm
by Nan Frobish Governor Brown has unveiled a sweeping new strategy, “Brown is the New Gold,” to simultaneously make California more robust to drought, secure private water rights, buffer California’s growers against disastrous losses from a looming national trade war, … Continue reading →

California’s Water Data Problems are Symptoms of Inchoate Science and Technical Activities

March 26, 2018 - 10:48am
“The truth is lost when there is too much contention about it.” – Publius Syrus (43 BC) by Jay Lund In 2016, California’s legislature passed AB 1755, the Open and Transparent Water Data Act, requiring that State agencies provide water … Continue reading →

How engineers see the water glass in California

March 18, 2018 - 6:39pm
It looks like 2018 will be a dry year, with snowpack about 50%.  How do engineers see the water glass in California?  Mostly the same as they did six years ago in the original version of this post, but we’ve … Continue reading →

Is Ecosystem-Based Management Legal for the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta?

March 8, 2018 - 11:16am
by Brian Gray (PPIC Water Policy Center), William Stelle (former NOAA Fisheries West Coast Administrator), and Leon Szeptycki (Stanford University, Water in the West)* Introduction In a recent three-part series posted on this website, a group of independent experts (including one … Continue reading →

Back to Dry – Get Organized and Prepared for Drought Again

March 4, 2018 - 6:16pm
Jay Lund Despite this week’s rain and snow, California is back to dry conditions again after a very wet 2017.  With about four weeks left in the normal wet season, the Sacramento Valley is at about 65% of average precipitation … Continue reading →

Advice on Voluntary Settlements for California’s Bay-Delta Water Quality Control Plan Part 3: Science for Ecosystem Management

February 27, 2018 - 1:51pm
by Jeffrey Mount, PPIC Water Policy Center* Recommendation Improving Delta ecosystem functions under the State Water Board’s proposed Bay-Delta Water Quality Control Plan will require a complex series of changes to water and land management—and a strong science program to … Continue reading →

Advice on Voluntary Settlements for California’s Bay-Delta Water Quality Control Plan Part 2: Recommended Actions to Improve Ecological Function in the Delta

February 21, 2018 - 3:17pm
by Jeffrey Mount, PPIC Water Policy Center* Recommendation By strategically linking freshwater flow releases with the management of tidal energy and investments in landscape changes in the Delta, it is possible to improve ecological food webs and habitat for native … Continue reading →

Drought Water Right Curtailment – Analysis, Transparency, and Limits

February 18, 2018 - 6:02pm
By Jay Lund, Ben Lord, Andrew Tweet, Wesley Walker, Chad Whittington, Reed Thayer, Jeff Laird, Quinn Hart, Nicholas Santos, William Fleenor, Julia Pavicic, Lauren Adams, and Bradley Arnold Drought often means not having enough water to satisfy all water-right holders. … Continue reading →

Advice on Voluntary Settlements for California’s Bay-Delta Water Quality Control Plan Part 1: Addressing a Manageable Suite of Ecosystem Problems

February 13, 2018 - 8:53am
by Jeffrey Mount, PPIC Water Policy Center Recommendation The State Water Resources Control Board and the parties seeking to incorporate voluntary settlement agreements in the Bay-Delta Water Quality Control Plan should identify a specific, tractable set of problems that can … Continue reading →