Author Archives: UC Davis Center for Watershed Sciences

Time-lapse river videos expose nature in the raw

By Ryan Peek Thanks to its Mediterranean climate, California swings from one extreme to another — severe drought, raging wildfires, big floods. These forces often interact and amplify, as we saw all too well this past summer in the scorching of … Continue reading

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The banality of California’s ‘1,200-year’ drought

By Jay Lund California’s ongoing drought will continue to break records and grab headlines, but it is unlikely to be especially rare from a water policy and management perspective. Estimates of the current drought’s rarity range from once in 15 … Continue reading

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How research programs stack up — a photo essay

By Jay Lund Riding into work the other day, I was thinking how our understanding of hard problems requires understanding a lot of pieces and how those pieces fit together – sort of like how a pile of bricks gets … Continue reading

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For a change in Delta perspective, move a few feet

By Jay Lund Each year my family takes a week’s vacation in the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta on our old sailboat. We often follow some Delta veterans who show us new places. As an engineering professor working on California’s water problems, … Continue reading

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Delta smelt’s unsung cousin seems verging on extinction, too

By James Hobbs and Peter Moyle Another native fish of the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta appears to be rivaling the cliffhanger status of the delta smelt. Relative to its historical abundance, the lesser-known longfin smelt has experienced an even bigger decline … Continue reading

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Guidance for putting new groundwater law on the ground

By Thomas Harter, Vicki Kretsinger Grabert and Tim Parker A group that helps shape California groundwater policy has proposed several ideas for state consideration in implementing the 2014 Sustainable Groundwater Management Act (SGMA). The Contemporary Groundwater Issues Council of the … Continue reading

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Drought bites harder, but agriculture remains robust

Spanish version By Richard Howitt, Duncan MacEwan, Josué Medellín-Azuara and Jay Lund Today we release our second annual report estimating the economic impacts from prolonged drought. More than anything, the results of our 16-page analysis of the current growing season … Continue reading

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The hard work of sustainable groundwater management

By Erik Porse Under California’s new groundwater law, local agencies must adopt long-term plans for sustainably managing basins subject to critical overdraft. Preparing these plans will be challenging, requiring collaboration and compromise among water users accustomed to pumping as they … Continue reading

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Napa County strings together a ‘living’ river

By Amber Manfree In the historic heart of Napa Valley, a moderate climate and 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 the … 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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