Next to New Orleans, Sacramento has the greatest flood risk of any major urban area in America. Most residents live below the water level flowing by in the Sacramento and American rivers.
News and Announcements
Jeffrey Mount, a recently retired professor of geology and founding director of the Center for Watershed Sciences, tells KQED radio that California will need to move southbound export water around the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta to comply with current laws that put water needs and the environment on equal footing.
KQED Science Editor Craig Miller caught up with Mount aboard his 27-foot cruiser, “Tugnacious.” An edited version of their conversation aired March 1.
Felicia Marcus, a member of the State Water Resources Control Board, is scheduled to talk about the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta on Monday, March 4, 4:10 pm to 5:30 pm at 1227 Haring Hall. She plans to address the Delta's governance and the critical impending decisions affecting its future as a major ecosystem and heart of the state's water delivery system. The talk is the seventh in the Center's California water policy speaker series, which is open to the public.
State water quality regulators cited the Center for Watershed Sciences’ research on nitrate-contaminated drinking water as a "foundation" for remedies they proposed in a Feb. 20 report to the Legislature.
The State Water Board’s recommendations incorporate several “promising actions” that Center researchers identified last year in a board-commissioned investigation of the contamination in California’s most productive agricultural regions.
Salmon and rice may go nicely together on the dinner plate, but can they get along growing up? The Center's fish biologists want to know, because baby Chinook salmon once flourished in the same Sacramento Valley floodplains where mostly rice is grown today.
To find out, researchers on Feb. 19 released 50,000 juvenile salmon into a flooded 20-acre rice field north of Woodland. Learn and see more in today's Sacramento Bee
The Center and the Department of Environmental Science & Policy are offering a unique course in applied watershed science this spring that involves rafting several class IV-V whitewater stretches of the Tuolumne River.
Peter Moyle, one of the foremost experts on California’s freshwater fish, is scheduled to talk about the future of the species Monday, Feb.11, 4:10 pm to 5:30 pm, in 1227 Haring.
Moyle is a UC Davis professor of fish biology and an associate director of the university's Center for Watershed Sciences. He authored Inland Fishes of California, the definitive reference on the subject. His research has strongly influenced state and federal management of endangered fish.
Tim Quinn, executive director of the Association of California Water Agencies, is scheduled Monday, Feb. 4, to talk about California's challenges in managing water reliability and Delta ecosystem health "coequally," as mandated by the state Delta Reform Act of 2009.
The 4:10 pm to 5:30 pm event at 1227 Haring is the fourth in the Center's California Water Policy speakers series this winter.
The Center for Watershed Sciences thanks the 14 water researchers who volunteered to muddy themselves Monday in the Yolo Bypass -- all in the interest of science. They were installing fine-mesh holding pens for baby salmon in a harvested rice field. The enclosures are part of an experiment to see whether floodplains reclaimed for agriculture can be effectively managed to help save Chinook salmon from extinction. Next month, the field will be flooded and stocked with thousands of tagged hatchery fingerlings.
Phil Isenberg, chairman of the state's Delta Stewardship Council, is scheduled to talk about the future of the West Coast's largest estuary Monday, Jan. 28, 4:10 pm to 5:30 pm, in 1227 Haring Hall. A former Sacramento mayor and state Assemblyman, Isenberg has been influential is California water policy for decades.
The Legislature created the Stewardship Council in 2009 to achieve the "coequal goals" of providing a more reliable water supply for California and restoring the health of the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta ecosystem.
The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission has a lengthy application process for hydropower companies looking to extend their operating licenses another 30 to 50 years. But it does not consider how climate change will affect the dams and rivers.
Professor Jay R. Lund, Director of the UC Davis Center for Watershed Sciences, is scheduled to talk about California's water challenges Monday, Jan. 14, 4:10 pm - 5:30 pm, in Room 176, Chemistry Building. His talk is the second in a speaker series on California water policy this winter quarter. The Center-sponsored talks are open to the public. A video of the previous talk by Senator Lois Wolk is available at http://bit.ly/10m674M
The Center for Watershed Sciences is hosting a weekly series of public speakers on California water policy this winter, beginning Jan. 7.
The California Water Policy Seminar Series is on Mondays, 4:10 pm to 5:30 pm, at 1227 Haring (updated 1/14/2013).
The series is open to the public and available for credit. [Graduates: 1 unit as ECI 296 (CRN 50116); undergraduates: 1 unit as ECI 98 (CRN 49768)]. For an extended graduate seminar on water policy (1 unit ECI 298) contact Professor Lund at firstname.lastname@example.org.
UC Davis watershed scientists have identified several promising ways to conserve imperiled Sierra Nevada fish and amphibians in the face of climate change.
The findings, presented at this week’s American Geophysical Union (AGU) conference in San Francisco, show how Sierra meadows could be managed to give multiple species a better chance of survival.
Who says peer reviewers go unrecognized? The American Society of Civil Engineers' Journal of Energy Engineering has named the Center's David Rheinheimer a "2012 Outstanding Reviewer," for the critical thinking and knowledge he brings to vetting articles submitted for publication. Rheinheimer, an environmental engineer, is currently studying the world's largest hydropower project -- Three Gorges Dam -- as a post-doctoral researcher at Wuhan University in China.
The New York Times spotlighted the Center's research findings in a Nov. 13 story on nitrate contamination of drinking water in the Central Valley farm belt.
Two top California water managers have singled out the Center's Yolo Bypass project as "one of the nation's best examples" of multi-benefit flood management. In a commentary published Oct. 27 in The Sacramento Bee, Bill Edgar, president of the state's Central Valley Flood Protection Board, and Mark Cowin, director of the state Department of Water Resources, said:
Alison Whipple joins the Center this fall with two prestigious awards to fund her PhD studies in the Hydrologic Sciences Graduate Group.
Whipple was awarded a Herbert Kraft Fellowship for 2012-2013 and a two-year Integrative Graduate Education Research Traineeship. IGERT is the National Science Foundation's flagship interdisciplinary training program. The nine-month Kraft fellowship is open to California students entering sciences important to agriculture.
The Bay Area does not need Hetch Hetchy reservoir to continue delivery of high-quality water from the Tuolumne River.
Several independent and peer-reviewed studies have shown that modifying the Hetch Hetchy aqueduct to take water from Cherry Reservoir or the much larger Don Pedro Reservoir downstream (built in 1971) would allow the Bay Area to receive full deliveries of its current supplies in almost all years, with only small shortages in remaining years.
Jay Lund, Director of the Center for Watershed Sciences, has been named to the influential Delta Independent Science Board, which guides state officials on management of the West Coast's largest estuary. Delta Stewardship Council Chairman Phil Isenberg announced the appointment Sept. 7, noting Lund's internationally renown expertise in managing California's water and his deep understanding of the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta.
The state's Delta Stewardship Council and the California Sea Grant has awarded a $96,472 fellowship to Matthew Young, a doctoral student with the Center for Watershed Sciences.
As a Delta Science Fellow, Young plans to investigate whether the Sacramento blackfish, the tule perch and other native fish in the Delta's shallows are in fact dwindling and, if confirmed, the causes of the decline.
Our Changing Climate 2012, the third assessment of climate change in California, has been released by the California Energy Commission and includes five reports from 11 current and former Center for Watershed Sciences researchers. The reports include the latest research into impacts on fisheries and the opportunities for management in the energy and water sector to prepare the state for changes in availability of critical resources.
Peter Moyle, Associate Director of the Center for Watershed Sciences and Professor of Wildlife, Fish and Conservation Biology, has been chosen as the Faculty recipient of the College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences 2012 Award of Distinction.
Researchers from the Center for Watershed Sciences recently hosted over 30 scientists attending the USDA sponsored International Seminar on Climate Change and Natural Resources Management at the Cosumnes River Preserve. While much of the three-week USDA International Programs seminar focused on aspects of climate change and resource management in the Sierra Nevada, attention turned to lessons learned as part of interdisciplinary science conducted by the Center for Watershed Sciences over the last decade.