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The Promise of a Wet January

By Jeffrey Mount

California is in an impressive—and much-needed—wet period. But the current parade of atmospheric rivers also highlights how difficult it is to capture and store water during times of great abundance. Can we do better?

blog post

Video: Surplus and Shortage—California’s Water Balancing Act

By Sarah Bardeen

After three years of virtual events, our annual fall conference returned to an in-person format in Sacramento on Friday, November 18. The upshot? Good people, good food, and three vital panel discussions about managing water in California’s changing climate. Read our recap!

event

Surplus and Shortage: California’s Water Balancing Act

As climate change accelerates, it’s bringing more extreme weather to California: The dry periods are hotter and drier than ever before—and the wet periods can be torrential. The only certainty is that water managers at every level will have to plan for and respond to extremes. How can we cope with the increasing volatility of our water cycle? We bring together three panels of experts to find out.

Report

Solar Energy and Groundwater in the San Joaquin Valley

By Andrew Ayres, Annabelle Rosser, Ellen Hanak, Alvar Escriva-Bou ...

Hundreds of thousands of acres of irrigated farmland may come out of production in the San Joaquin Valley in coming decades. At the same time, the state needs to ramp up renewable energy generation to meet climate goals. Could solar development on fallowed land help the valley’s residents? Our new report examines the challenges and opportunities.

blog post

Beavers: The Unlikely Climate Hero

By Sarah Bardeen

Beavers were once ubiquitous in North America, but trapping and habitat loss decimated their population: there are just 10-15 million beavers in North America today. We asked a beaver restoration expert to tell us more about this unlikely climate hero and its role in restoring streams and meadows.

blog post

Water for Wildlife Refuges: 30 Years of the CVPIA

By Sarah Bardeen

The Central Valley Project Improvement Act turns 30 this year. We asked three experts to explain what the CVPIA is—and why it’s so vitally important for migratory birds.

blog post

A New Tool Could Help Protect 30% of the State’s Waters by 2030

By Sarah Bardeen

California has set an ambitious goal of protecting 30% of the state’s lands and waters by 2030. We spoke with CalTrout’s legal and policy director Redgie Collins about a promising but underutilized tool that could help protect water bodies throughout the state: The Outstanding Natural Resource Waters designation.

Report

Storing Water for the Environment

By Sarah Null, Jeffrey Mount, Brian Gray, Kristen Dybala ...

Large reservoirs are essential for managing water in California’s highly variable climate—but over the years, the construction and operation of these reservoirs have had significant environmental costs. Our new research outlines how reservoir operations could be changed to improve the health of the state’s fragile freshwater ecosystems.

Policy Brief

Policy Brief: Storing Water for the Environment

By Sarah Null, Jeffrey Mount, Brian Gray, Kristen Dybala ...

To protect and restore California’s freshwater ecosystems and respond to the changing climate, California’s water managers must change how they operate reservoirs. Our policy brief offers recommendations for how to do this in a way that makes the most efficient use of scarce water for the environment while minimizing impacts on other water uses.

Report

Exploring the Potential for Water-Limited Agriculture in the San Joaquin Valley

By Caitlin Peterson, Cameron Pittelkow, Mark Lundy

As irrigated farmland comes out of production in the San Joaquin Valley, valley residents will face increased pests, weeds, and dust—as well as a loss of employment and economic activity. Water-limited cropping is one alternative to fallowing that can improve soil health and air quality, create habitat, and keep land in production.

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