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Blog Post · March 1, 2021

Video: Improving the Health of California’s Freshwater Ecosystems

photo - Sacramento River, California Pixel CA DWR

California’s rivers, wetlands, and other freshwater ecosystems are in poor health. Water management practices, pollution, habitat change, invasive species, and a changing climate have all taken a toll, leaving many native species in dire straits. And the current approach for managing freshwater ecosystems is not working.

In this video Jeff Mount, senior fellow at the PPIC Water Policy Center, discusses the many benefits these ecosystems bring to California, and outlines a path for improving their condition to secure these benefits for future generations.

“Healthy freshwater ecosystems improve water supply and water quality, reduce flood risk, support fisheries and recreation, and reduce conflicts over water,” Mount says.

Research by PPIC shows that managing river flows for seasonal variation can better maintain ecosystem health and support the needs of native fish and wildlife.

“This involves allocating a block of water to the environment that can be used to re-create ecologically important flows, like small winter floods and spring snowmelt flows,” he explains.

Watch the video to learn why an ecosystem-based management approach is a more efficient and effective approach in a changing climate.


California rivers climate change Freshwater Ecosystems groundwater recharge Water, Land & Air