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California Waterblog

  • Uncertainty in modeling, an Art Gallery
    by jaylund on June 26, 2022 at 1:06 pm

    Water resource planners regularly rely on computer models to illuminate relationships between human- and natural-systems. Anyone who has tinkered with one of California water supply models knows this is a deeply left-brained exercise. During Winter 2021, as part of Jay Lund’s … Continue reading →

  • California’s continued drought
    by andrewrypel on June 19, 2022 at 1:45 pm

    By Andrew L. Rypel As California’s drought deepens, it is worth checking in on the status of water supplies and what might be in store for the rest of the summer, and beyond. What started with the promise of a … Continue reading →

  • Considerations for Developing An Environmental Water Right in California
    by andrewrypel on June 12, 2022 at 1:00 pm

    By Karrigan Börk, Andrew L. Rypel, Sarah Yarnell, Ann Willis, Peter B. Moyle, Josué Medellín-Azuara, Jay Lund, and Robert Lusardi This week, news emerged of a State Senate plan that would spend upwards of $1.5B to purchase senior water rights … Continue reading →

  • Demystifying mist as a source of water supply
    by UC Davis Center for Watershed Sciences on June 5, 2022 at 2:00 pm

    By Jay Lund (originally posted in 2015) In some of the world’s driest places, atmospheric moisture is a major source of water for native ecosystems. Some algae, plants and insects in the Israeli and Namibian deserts get much of their water … Continue reading →

  • The Failed Recovery Plan for the Delta and Delta Smelt
    by andrewrypel on May 29, 2022 at 2:02 pm

    By Peter Moyle Few native species are as controversial as Delta Smelt. It is a 3-4 inch translucent fish that lives only in the California Delta, where the Sacramento and San Joaquin rivers meet. This place also happens to be … Continue reading →

  • A conservation bill you’ve never heard of may be the most important in a generation
    by andrewrypel on May 22, 2022 at 1:56 pm

    by Andrew L. Rypel This blog is a short introduction to a lesser known federal bill that is one of the most significant pieces of fish and wildlife legislation in decades. In Spring of 2021, Rep. Debbie Dingell (D-Mich.) and … Continue reading →

  • How engineers see the water glass in California
    by jaylund on May 15, 2022 at 1:02 pm

    This is another dry year.  How do California’s engineers see a partially-full water glass?  Mostly the same as they did in the original 2012 version of this post, but we’ve added a few more perspectives. by Jay R. Lund Depending … Continue reading →

  • Five “F”unctions of the Central Valley Floodplain
    by andrewrypel on May 8, 2022 at 2:02 pm

    by Francheska Torres, Miranda Tilcock, Alexandra Chu, and Sarah Yarnell The Yolo Bypass is one of two large flood bypasses in California’s Central Valley that are examples of multi-benefit floodplain projects (Figure 1; Serra-Llobet et al., 2022). Originally constructed in the early … Continue reading →

  • Government Spending on Stormwater Management in California
    by andrewrypel on May 1, 2022 at 1:46 pm

    By Erik Porse, Maureen Kerner, Brian Currier, David Babchanik, Danielle Salt, and Julie Mansisidor Stormwater infrastructure in cities is highly visible and serves to mitigate flooding and reduce pollution that reaches local waterbodies. Being so visible, it might be reasonable … Continue reading →

  • The Putah Creek Fish Kill: Learning from a Local Disaster
    by andrewrypel on April 24, 2022 at 1:18 pm

    By Alex Rabidoux, Max Stevenson, Peter B. Moyle, Mackenzie C. Miner, Lauren G. Hitt, Dennis E. Cocherell, Nann A. Fangue, and Andrew L. Rypel Putah Creek is a small stream located in the Central Valley that has been extensively modified … Continue reading →

Media Updates

Aquafornia News

  • News release: DWR and CDFW release fish into the wild
    by Alastair Bland on July 1, 2022 at 2:54 pm

    Oroville’s Feather River Fish Hatchery (FRFH) released over 11.3 million young Chinook salmon smolts into the waters of the Feather River, San Pablo Bay, and San Francisco Bay from March to June 2022 to support Northern California and Pacific Ocean fisheries. These fish include both spring and fall-run Chinook salmon. … Transportation to the Bays, especially in drought conditions such as this year, improves survival by avoiding predators and numerous other obstacles and dangers in the Feather River, Sacramento River, and Delta.  View Original Article read more

  • What do increased releases from Folsom Dam mean for region’s water levels?
    by Alastair Bland on July 1, 2022 at 2:41 pm

    Rising river levels? It’s been a surprising sight in recent days for people out along the American River. California is in year three of a severe drought and people are being asked to conserve, but water releases from Folsom Dam are being dramatically increased this week…. The Bureau of Reclamation, which manages Folsom Dam, said a small portion of the increased water is going to farms and cities downstream. But the majority of the higher flow is to help flush out salt water that is pushing up into the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta. View Original Article read more

  • Berkeley native begins 240-mile trek to East Bay’s water source
    by Alastair Bland on July 1, 2022 at 2:39 pm

    Berkeley native Nina Gordon-Kirsch departed Tuesday on a 240-mile walk from her home in Oakland’s Longfellow neighborhood to the headwaters of the Mokelumne River, the primary source of the East Bay’s drinking water. Gordon-Kirsch, a 12th grade teacher, will be bringing a two-person film crew and hopes her journey will inspire students to think about issues of water conservation and reuse. The trek is her attempt to show “all the steps it takes” for water to arrive at our faucets. View Original Article read more

  • Democrats reject three Valadao amendments addressing Calif. drought
    by Alastair Bland on July 1, 2022 at 2:33 pm

    U.S. House Appropriations Committee Democrats voted down all three drought-related amendments offered by U.S. Rep. David Valadao (R-CA) to the fiscal year 2023 Energy and Water Appropriations bill during the committee’s June 28 markup of the legislation. … The first amendment offered by Rep. Valadao addressed water storage capacity issues. It would have extended the California storage provisions of the federal Water Infrastructure Improvements for the Nation (WIIN) Act through the end of 2023, as well as the authorization of appropriations for water storage projects, according to information provided by the congressman’s staff. View Original Article read more

  • California farmers preparing for state water curtailment orders
    by Alastair Bland on July 1, 2022 at 2:09 pm

    Farmers up and down California are once again facing an uncertain season ahead of them as a state water curtailment order issued in August 2021 continues to take its toll on farming and ranching families. In July 2021, Gov. Gavin Newsom signed an executive order calling a drought emergency and asking for water conservation. Soon after, farmers and ranchers in California received curtailment orders from the California Water Board (CWB) to either immediately or prepare to suspend their senior water rights.  Water rights are a complicated and century-long system that farmers and ranchers are all too familiar with — because water is their lifeline. Related articles:  Fresh Plaza: Almond Alliance supports growers frustrated by supply chain and water troubles Forbes: Fresh Take: Modern Agriculture’s House Of Cards, Inside California’s Controversial Prop 13, And Why Private Label Is Having A Moment View Original Article read more

  • Yolo County groundwater may reach levels close to previous significant drought
    by Alastair Bland on July 1, 2022 at 1:47 pm

    Due to the lack of surface water available in the region this year, the Yolo Subbasin Groundwater Agency is currently forecasting that fall groundwater elevations in Yolo County will be close to the 1976-77 drought. The 1976-77 drought is the most significant drought on record for groundwater levels and is used by the Yolo Subbasin Groundwater Agency (YGSA) as a minimum threshold for the groundwater sustainability plan. View Original Article read more

  • Lithium Valley: Calif. Legislature approves per-ton lithium taxes, hefty development funds
    by Alastair Bland on July 1, 2022 at 1:42 pm

    California legislators voted late Wednesday to impose flat taxes on lithium producers…. The fees were fiercely contested by two start-ups that lobbied for a sales tax approach, but supported by energy giant Berkshire Hathaway’s renewables arm. Officials noted the fees — along with $400 million in state funds that were authorized for infrastructure, planning and environmental reviews — could bring sorely needed improvements and steady revenues to the state’s impoverished, often overlooked southeastern corner. Gov. Gavin Newsom’s office was closely involved in negotiations on the package, and he is expected to sign it into law. Related article:  Reuters: California approves lithium tax despite industry’s warnings View Original Article read more

  • News release: Groundbreaking celebrates California’s largest tidal habitat restoration project
    by Alastair Bland on July 1, 2022 at 1:20 pm

    [S]tate, federal, and local agencies gathered to celebrate the groundbreaking of the largest tidal habitat restoration project in California history. The Department of Water Resources (DWR) and Ecosystem Investment Partners (EIP) are teaming up on the Lookout Slough Tidal Habitat Restoration and Flood Improvement Project in Solano County. It is a multi-benefit effort to restore the site to a tidal wetland, creating habitat and producing food for Delta Smelt and other fish species while also creating new flood capacity in the Yolo Bypass and reducing overall flood risk in the Sacramento area. Related article:  City of Eureka: Elk River Estuary Enhancement Project Breaks Ground; 114 Acres of Eureka Wetland to be Restored View Original Article read more