Author Archives: UC Davis Center for Watershed Sciences

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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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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