Budget negotiations could determine the future of California’s Central Valley

Modeling by the Department of Water Resources for the 2022 Central Valley Flood Protection Plan Update shows that peak flood flows on the San Joaquin River could more than double with climate change, and peak flows on the Sacramento could increase by 40%. In 2018, Daniel Swain, Baird Langenbrunner, and David Neelin found that there … Continue reading Budget negotiations could determine the future of California’s Central Valley

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

In increasing State Water Project allocations, DWR is taking huge risks

The Department of Water Resources has just announced that they are increasing the State Water Project allocations to 15%. Given the huge problems last year with watershed runoff forecasts, DWR is taking a huge risk of not meeting environmental water needs later in the year. In November 2021, nine scientists from leading California water research … Continue reading In increasing State Water Project allocations, DWR is taking huge risks

For California water management, delay is denial of climate change impacts

Climate scientist Michael Mann wrote an Op Ed in the LA Times, On the climate crisis, delay has become the new form of denial. The Op Ed has many concepts that resonate with what is happening with California water management. Mann argues: One can no longer credibly deny that climate change is real, human-caused, and a … Continue reading For California water management, delay is denial of climate change impacts

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

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

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

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

Update: Bay Delta Conservation Plan & Climate Change

In August, 2012, California Water Research released a report, Incorporating Drought Risk Into California Water Resources Planning.  Since that time we have been waging a quiet campaign for the Department of Water Resources to recognize that their climate modelling for the Bay Delta Conservation Plan has significant limitations and inconsistencies. The report says that, if the projections … Continue reading Update: Bay Delta Conservation Plan & Climate Change