Author Archives: UC Davis Center for Watershed Sciences

Napa County strings together a ‘living’ river

By Amber Manfree In the historic heart of Napa Valley, a moderate climate and the alluvial soils deposited by the Napa River create perfect conditions for world-class cabernets. An acre of vines here sells for around $300,000, or 25 times … Continue reading

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Ten realities for managing the Delta

This article was originally published Feb. 26, 2013 By Peter Moyle I have been working on Delta fishes for nearly 40 years. Increasingly, I have curmudgeonly thoughts about what is needed to make the ecosystem work better. Here I present … Continue reading

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Is California’s drought a ‘new normal’ ?

By Stephen Maples Many are wondering whether the current drought is the harbinger of a drier California with more frequent and longer multi-year dry spells. Some have already jumped to this conclusion. “This is the new normal,” Gov. Jerry Brown … Continue reading

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California Drought: Virtual Water vs. Real Water

This article was originally published Feb. 27, 2014 By Jay Lund There has been considerable kvetching during this drought about California exporting agricultural products overseas, with some saying that this implies we are virtually exporting water that we should be using in … Continue reading

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Creeks that cool down as summer heats up

By Ann Willis and Andrew Nichols Summer has just begun and conditions on many of California’s drought-stricken rivers and streams are already looking grim for cold-water fish. Endangered winter-run salmon may not survive a repeat of last summer’s nearly total … Continue reading

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How to manage drought: Ask an economist

The economics of water scarcity is crucial to sustainable water management, particularly during droughts. California has long benefited from the insights of economists, though their ranks in state water agencies are thinning. Luckily, California has a wealth of young, talented … Continue reading

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Making the most of little water — with spreadsheets

By Jenny Ta and Joshua Viers It seems inevitable that increasing numbers of California farmers will see their claims to surface water suspended this growing season as the drought persists into a fourth year. The State Water Resources Control Board said … Continue reading

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Drought killing farm jobs — even as they grow

By Josué Medellín-Azuara, Richard Howitt, Duncan MacEwan, Daniel Sumner and Jay Lund With all the news about the drought drying up farm jobs, it seems paradoxical that California agriculture actually came out a bit ahead on employment growth last year. … Continue reading

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Harsher drought impacts forecast for California agriculture

By Richard Howitt, Duncan MacEwan, Josué Medellín-Azuara, Jay Lund and Daniel A. Sumner The drought is expected to be worse for California’s agricultural economy this year because of reduced water availability, according to our preliminary estimates released today. The study, summarized below, … Continue reading

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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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