On September 12th, 2022, the Sixth District Court of Appeal issued a ruling that the State Water Resources Control Board did not have the authority to curtail pre-1914 water rights under Water Code section 1052(a). This code section provides that “The diversion or use of water subject to this division other than as authorized in … Continue reading Will ruling on pre-1914 curtailments force the Water Board to track stored water?
Water Board’s Decision 1641 adopted in wetter period
This blog post analyzes long term changes in the Sacramento Four River runoff using a 10 year and 30 year running mean. Sacramento River runoff was lower during the Dust Bowl era drought of 1928-34, and the current 30 year mean runoff is close to the mean for the historic record. However, the current 10 … Continue reading Water Board’s Decision 1641 adopted in wetter period
The State Water Project Delivery Reliability Report may have created systemic drought vulnerability
On June 7, 2022, Adel Hagekhalil, general manager of the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California, issued the following statement: We are in an unprecedented situation, where our water supplies from the State Water Project are so limited by drought and climate change that they do not meet demands. Southern Californians must decrease their water … Continue reading The State Water Project Delivery Reliability Report may have created systemic drought vulnerability
Could California be at a social tipping point towards sustainability of water use?
European Complex Systems scientists Ilona M. Otto et. al. published a conceptual model of the dynamics of social tipping points towards rapid decarbonization of the earth's economy. The concepts are also applicable to the changes needed to transition to more sustainable resource use, including water. This figure from Otto's paper shows a series of social … Continue reading Could California be at a social tipping point towards sustainability of water use?
California Senate proposes $2 billion program to balance water supply and water rights
The California Senate has proposed a $2 billion reconciliation framework to rebalance water supply and water rights, as part of proposed investments of $7.5 billion in state and federal funds spread over three years for climate resiliency. It is the most sweeping land retirement proposal since the landmark 1992 Central Valley Project Improvement Act. According … Continue reading California Senate proposes $2 billion program to balance water supply and water rights
Models that forecast water that isn’t there hurt all beneficial uses
Assemblymember Adam Gray has called for an audit of the Department of Water Resources and the State Water Resources Control Board, in part to answer the question, What happened in the Water Year 2021 (October 1, 2020 to September 30, 2021) to lead the state to miscalculate by some 700,000 acre-feet the amount of water … Continue reading Models that forecast water that isn’t there hurt all beneficial uses
Fatal errors in DWR’s runoff forecasting: comments to the State Water Resources Control Board
The State Water Resources Control Board held a workshop today (March 16, 2022) on Sacramento River Temperature Management. Among the topics considered were "hydrologic conditions, including operations, forecasting, and accounting." These were my comments. This is Deirdre Des Jardins with California Water Research. I’m the physicist who sent comments to DWR in 2012 predicting the … Continue reading Fatal errors in DWR’s runoff forecasting: comments to the State Water Resources Control Board
We need to step up our game on evaluating drought risk
The Department of Water Resources’ new California Water Watch website is a great new resource, however, the site appears to miss information on the rapidly developing drought. The website displays statewide precipitation for the water year to date. It also displays a map of “Drought Risk Impacts” based on precipitation being less than 70% of … Continue reading We need to step up our game on evaluating drought risk
DWR 2006 study: “too much risk” taken with reservoir operations
In 2006, for the first California Climate Assessment, DWR published a study of operations of the State Water Project and Central Valley Project with climate change. The report was titled, "Progress on Incorporating Climate Change Into Management of California’s Water Resources." DWR's 2006 modeling predicted the current crisis, with Shasta, Folsom, and Oroville reservoirs being … Continue reading DWR 2006 study: “too much risk” taken with reservoir operations
TUCP: California Water Research asks Water Board to require report on 2021 runoff forecast errors
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