Author Archives: UC Davis Center for Watershed Sciences

Ten ways the feds can help ease drought in the West

Since the onset of California’s drought emergency 16 months ago, federal agencies and Congress have been seeking to help the state through funding and new and existing legislation. Here are 10 recommendations for new federal actions. Although many focus on … Continue reading

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Q & A on survival of California’s delta smelt 

Four years of severe drought and decades of huge water diversions appears to have pushed delta smelt to the point of no return. State biologists netted only a single smelt last month in trawl of 40 sites in San Francisco … Continue reading

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Keeping accounts for groundwater sustainability

Rob Gailey, Graham Fogg, Thomas Harter, Jay Lund, Helen Dahlke, Richard Frank, Tim Ginn, Richard Howitt, Mimi Jenkins, Bonnie Magnuson, Josué Medellín-Azuara, and Samuel Sandoval Solis The Sustainable Groundwater Management Act of 2014 creates an opportunity to establish standards for … Continue reading

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Water rationing and California’s drought

By Jay Lund California cities and water utilities will be stressed to meet the state’s aggressive urban conservation mandates in this fourth year of drought. Following Gov. Jerry Brown’s executive order, the State Water Resources Control Board developed specific reduction … Continue reading

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Jobs per drop irrigating California crops

By Josué Medellín-Azuara, Jay Lund and Richard Howitt Some of the most popular drought stories lately have been on the amount of what water needed to produce food from California, as a consumer sees it — a single almond, a head of … Continue reading

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Food prices and the California drought

By Daniel A. Sumner California’s drought has been tough on farms and especially painful for farm workers in the Central Valley. But consumers of California-produced food have been spared large price increases. Despite the severity of the drought and California’s … Continue reading

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Dollars and drops per California crop

By Josué Medellín-Azuara and Jay Lund When it comes to water, California’s irrigated agriculture is always under the public magnifying glass because it is the largest managed water use in the state and the economic base for many rural areas. … Continue reading

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Making every drop count in drought – and deluge

By Joshua Viers and Graham Fogg A little publicized but highly curious part of the emergency drought legislation signed by Gov. Jerry Brown last month advances hundreds of millions of dollars to shore up and replace aging levees in flood … Continue reading

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Exotic animals deployed as Delta ‘weed whackers’

By Nestle J. Frobish Visitors to the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta are doing double takes lately as they encounter some newly introduced “biological controls” to keep a fast-spreading waterweed from damaging boat propellers and choking off waterways. Working with state water … Continue reading

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The California Drought of 2015: A preview

By Jay Lund This fourth year of drought is severe, but not yet the driest ever. The drought’s impacts are worsened by record heat, which has dried out soils and raised the demands for irrigation, and the historical high levels of … Continue reading

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