On scientific confluence and the challenges of avoiding a ghastly future in California water

Seventy years ago, psychologists Fritz Perls, Paul Hefferline, and Richard Goodman defined confluence as considering different viewpoints and assimilating them into one's own worldview [1]: At the end of any successful experience – one that is not interrupted but allowed to complete itself – there is always a confluence of energy or energy producing materials. … Continue reading On scientific confluence and the challenges of avoiding a ghastly future in California water

On DWR’s water supply models and drought risks

The Delta Independent Science Board has just released their draft Water Supply Reliability Review. We strongly agree with their recommendation on water supply system models: The next generation of state-sponsored water supply system models for reliability estimation should be built, updated, and evaluated by a broad consortium of state and federal agencies and external experts … Continue reading On DWR’s water supply models and drought risks

Natural Resources budget trailer bill would exempt habitat restoration projects from CEQA

Aerial photo of Franks Tract

SB 155, the Senate Natural Resources budget trailer bill, provides $593 million for projects that “advance multi-benefit and nature based solutions" this fiscal year, and another $175 million next fiscal year. Section 23 of the bill exempts the following projects from the California Environmental Quality Act: (1) A project to conserve, restore, protect, or enhance, … Continue reading Natural Resources budget trailer bill would exempt habitat restoration projects from CEQA

On dealing with climate grief

Many of my friends have cabins that are threatened by the Sierra wildfires. Across the country, others are dealing with the devastation of Hurricane Ida. Twitter has been filled with messages of shock, fear, grief, pain, and loss. I think people go through Elizabeth Kubler-Ross's stages of grief as the devastation of climate change starts … Continue reading On dealing with climate grief

Consideration of climate change in the Delta tunnel project

The Department of Water Resources will be holding a webinar on consideration of climate change for the Delta tunnel project on August 25, 2021.  The following discussion is from my testimony in 2016 for Part 1A of the WaterFix Water Right Change Petition hearing. It explains some key problems with the consideration of shifts in … Continue reading Consideration of climate change in the Delta tunnel project

TUCP: California Water Research asks Water Board to require report on 2021 runoff forecast errors

NWS May 2021 snowpack

California Water Research filed a protest of the May 17 Temporary Urgency Change Petition by the California Department of Water Resources and the US Bureau of Reclamation. We requested that the State Water Resources Control Board require a written report by DWR and USBR on the methodology used for the runoff forecast used in this … Continue reading TUCP: California Water Research asks Water Board to require report on 2021 runoff forecast errors

State Water Contractors objected to development of a drought operations strategy for the State Water Project and Central Valley Project

Lake Oroville March 2021

Our May 10, 2021 blog post, DWR Chief Engineer warned of climate change draining Northern California reservoirs explained how Francis Chung, the Department of Water Resources’ Bay-Delta modeling chief, sounded the alarm in 2010 that climate change could drain major Northern California reservoirs. Chung recommended that DWR develop a reoperation strategy for the State Water Project … Continue reading State Water Contractors objected to development of a drought operations strategy for the State Water Project and Central Valley Project

DWR Chief Engineer warned of climate change draining northern California reservoirs

Governor Newsom’s drought emergency declaration is a direct consequence of the draining of Shasta, Folsom, and Oroville reservoirs by the Central Valley Project and State Water Project to export water from the Delta. Emergency operation of these major reservoirs will be a disaster for the Delta ecosystem, and will also have severe impacts on Delta … Continue reading DWR Chief Engineer warned of climate change draining northern California reservoirs

The “greedy” strategy for SWP and CVP reservoir operations

Current operations of the State Water Project and Central Valley Project reservoirs in the Sacramento Valley are an example of a greedy strategy.[1] Under the greedy strategy, the system operators export as much water as possible in any given year. The strategy results in maximum water deliveries in a given year, but with the risk … Continue reading The “greedy” strategy for SWP and CVP reservoir operations

Governor’s budget prioritizes climate adaptation, protecting vulnerable communities

In July 2019, the Central Valley Flood Protection Board held one of many agency listening sessions on the Water Resilience Portfolio. I told the Flood Board, “For climate adaptation, the first priority for the state must be increasing resiliency of the existing built environment, and protecting vulnerable populations from catastrophic effects of climate change.” I … Continue reading Governor’s budget prioritizes climate adaptation, protecting vulnerable communities