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California Waterblog

  • Risk Rating 2.0: A first look at FEMA’s new flood insurance system
    by andrewrypel on September 19, 2021 at 2:00 pm

    By Ryan Miller, Peter Hansen, and Nicholas Pinter Risk Rating 2.0 has been called the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s (FEMA)’s most significant reform in 50 years.  Roughly 77% of customers of the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) nationwide will see … Continue reading →

  • Could California weather a mega-drought?
    by jaylund on September 12, 2021 at 12:23 pm

    By Jay Lund “Mega-drought” has become a frightful “thing” in public and media discussions.  In the past 1,200 years, California had two droughts lasting 120-200 years, “megadroughts” by any standard. Could the state’s water resources continue to supply enough water … Continue reading →

  • Lessons from Three Decades of Evolution of Cropland use in the Central Valley
    by jaylund on September 5, 2021 at 12:47 pm

    by José M. Rodríguez-Flores, Spencer A. Cole, Alexander Guzman, Josué Medellín-Azuara, Jay R. Lund, Daniel A. Sumner California’s Central Valley is the source of more than $30 billion of farm value. It produces more milk than any state outside California, … Continue reading →

  • Dammed hot: California’s regulated streams fail cold-water ecosystems
    by UC Davis Center for Watershed Sciences on August 29, 2021 at 3:00 pm

    by Ann Willis, Ryan Peek, and Andrew L. Rypel Given the current drought, it’s no surprise that California’s dams are struggling to provide cool water habitats to support native freshwater ecosystems. But what if they were never able to support … Continue reading →

  • 2021 Drought in California – in one page
    by jaylund on August 22, 2021 at 2:45 pm

    by Jay Lund Droughts and this drought in California California has more hydrologic variability than any state in the US, meaning that we have more drought and flood years per average year than any other state.  This is a problem, … Continue reading →

  • Living with non-native fishes in California requires using the right words
    by jaylund on August 8, 2021 at 2:50 pm

    by Peter Moyle Everywhere you go in California, people live in landscapes where non-native species are conspicuous:  European grasses turning the hills golden, earthworms tilling our garden soil, exotic trees providing shade, bullfrogs jumping into backyard ponds, starlings making tight … Continue reading →

  • The California Water Model: Resilience through Failure
    by jaylund on August 1, 2021 at 12:29 pm

    by Nicholas Pinter, Jay Lund, Peter Moyle This is a slightly-edited re-posting from May 5, 2019. 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 … Continue reading →

  • Experimental Habitats for Hatchery Delta Smelt
    by andrewrypel on July 25, 2021 at 1:45 pm

    by Peter Moyle The Delta smelt is either extinct in the wild or close to it; in the past year only a handful have been caught, with great effort. In contrast, the UC Davis Fish Conservation and Culture Laboratory (FCCL) … Continue reading →

  • California’s Missing Forecast Flows in Spring 2021 – Challenges for seasonal flow forecasting
    by jaylund on July 18, 2021 at 1:06 pm

    by John Abatzoglou, Anna Rallings, Leigh Bernacchi, Joshua Viers, Josué Medellín-Azuara California’s 2021 water outlook became grimmer this spring as the state did not get fabulous February or miracle March precipitation. Unsurprisingly, spring streamflow forecasts from snowfed basins in the … Continue reading →

  • California isn’t running out of water; it’s running out of cheap water
    by jaylund on July 11, 2021 at 2:46 pm

    by Wyatt Arnold A California water myth which becomes especially pernicious in droughts is that California is “running out of water” (Hanak et al. 2009). Viewing California’s supply and demand pressures in terms of fixed water requirements perpetuates this myth … Continue reading →

Media Updates

Aquafornia News

  • Sacramento residents miss Gov. Newsom’s water-saving goal
    by Alastair Bland on September 21, 2021 at 2:34 am

    As California’s drought deepens, Sacramento residents are falling short of meeting Gov. Gavin Newsom’s call for water conservation — at least so far. Area residents reduced water usage by an average of 6% last month, compared to August 2020, according to data released this week by the Sacramento Regional Water Authority. That compares with the 15% voluntary goal announced by Newsom in an executive order in July. Related articles:  Fox 5 – San Diego: Why can’t we just move water to solve a drought? Santa Clarita Valley Signal: SCV Water Drought-Ready, Your Help Needed Livermore Independent: Livermore Area Recreation and Park District Eyes Hike in Water Usage San Mateo Daily Journal: Bay Area water districts are weathering drought View Original Article read more

  • United Nations warns of ‘catastrophic pathway’ with current climate pledges
    by Alastair Bland on September 21, 2021 at 2:32 am

    The global average temperature will rise 2.7 degrees Celsius by century’s end even if all countries meet their promised emissions cuts, a rise that is likely to worsen extreme wildfires, droughts and floods, the United Nations said in a report on Friday. That level of warming, measured against preindustrial levels, is likely to increase the frequency of deadly heat waves and threaten coastal cities with rising sea levels, the country-by-country analysis concluded. Related articles:  SF Chronicle: Opinion: No, damming the Golden Gate won’t save the Bay Area from rising seas Fox 21: Biden launches response to health harms from extreme heat Times of San Diego: Opinion - We Must Protect and Bring Back California’s Coastal ‘Blue Carbon’ Areas Denver Post: Southern Colorado’s tarantulas are disappearing — and climate change is a big part of it Salon: A proposal to plant a trillion trees to save us from climate change may not be realistic. Here’s why View Original Article read more

  • Climate change lets mosquitoes flourish – and feast – in Los Angeles
    by Alastair Bland on September 21, 2021 at 2:30 am

    Many try and fail to make it in L.A. But one group is proving unstoppable: mosquitoes, which have taken over Southern California and are driving the humans here crazy. New invasive, disease-bearing species originating from Asia and Africa are thriving in the increasingly long, hot and humid summers afflicting this region thanks to climate change, according to numerous public health officials. Their growing numbers are baffling and infuriating Angelenos, who, until recently, considered themselves largely exempt from the buzzing bloodsuckers that make summers miserable in much of the rest of the country. View Original Article read more

  • Sediment loading from Bootleg Fire could be an ‘ecological disaster’
    by Alastair Bland on September 21, 2021 at 2:23 am

    Though it may seem like the Bootleg Fire’s damage has already been done after crews contained the blaze last month, the 647 square mile scar spells trouble for the entire Klamath Basin once the wet season arrives. If actions aren’t taken quickly to protect streams and drainages in the burn area, water quality in Upper Klamath Lake — and the endangered c’waam and koptu that call it home — could suffer. Related articles:  Mountain Democrat: Researchers begin to track Caldor’s impact on Lake Tahoe clarity CA Department of Fish and Wildlife: New CDFW Research Shows Low Severity Wildfires Improve Biodiversity Antelope Valley Press: Newly noticed damage from fires, drought View Original Article read more

  • Amid drought, billionaires control a critical California water bank
    by Alastair Bland on September 20, 2021 at 2:44 pm

    Water prices are soaring in California’s Central Valley, where a quarter of the nation’s food is grown. As the West Coast’s megadrought worsens, one farming company has long been scrutinized for its outsized role in the arid region’s water supply.  Wonderful, the closely held company owned by billionaires Stewart and Lynda Resnick, can buy up huge amounts of water whenever it needs more. Most of the Resnicks’ water comes from long-term contracts and other water from land rights they have from the farms they own. View Original Article read more

  • Opinion: Riverbank must rethink gigantic Riverwalk growth proposal
    by Alastair Bland on September 20, 2021 at 2:40 pm

    We all can’t live in the garden. This garden, this one in the heart of California. The one that produces over 300 different crops, a bounty that produces thousands of jobs, helps to feed families of the world and make life more enjoyable. … We do remember the 1997 floods that sent the Tuolumne and Stanislaus rivers over their banks, destroying homes and property. Are we to expect that Riverbank officials and the Army Corps of Engineers will hold back the Stanislaus River as it floods again within the Riverwalk project?-Written by Denny Jackman is a controlled growth advocate, a founding member of the Farmland Working Group and a former Modesto City Council member. View Original Article read more

  • They came, they saw, they took out the trash
    by Alastair Bland on September 20, 2021 at 2:11 pm

    The Kern River got a lot of love this National Clean Up Day with two groups picking up trash along different sections of the river on Saturday. In Bakersfield, about 40 volunteers with Bring Back the Kern, a nonprofit group dedicated to getting water flowing on a more regular basis through town, cleared away trash under the bridge at Mohawk Street. This is the second year the group has participated in National Clean Up Day. It has held other clean ups along the river for Earth Day and other events.  View Original Article read more

  • Napa County’s groundwater plans moving to spotlight
    by Alastair Bland on September 20, 2021 at 1:52 pm

    Napa County continues working on a state-required plan to manage groundwater beneath world-famous wine country, but it’s not easy and a Jan. 31 deadline looms. Stakes are high, given groundwater is used to irrigate vineyards, run wineries, and serve homes, as well as sustain the environment. The goal is to make certain the vast underground reservoir is never pumped dry.  Napa County must do more than satisfy local interests that it’s a good steward for the Napa Valley subbasin. Related articles:  Fox 40 – Sacramento: Butte County residents whose wells have gone dry can get water at several locations BBK Law: EPA Withdraws Trump-era Guidance on When Groundwater Releases Require Clean Water Act Permits Somach Simmons & Dunn: Federal District Court Denies Environmental Plaintiffs’ Motion For Preliminary Injunction Regarding Sacramento River Valley Groundwater Program   View Original Article read more