Home

Western Water

Executive Editors Note: Special Groundwater Project Marks Three Years of Online Magazine

It’s been three years since we took Western Water magazine online to make topical issues regarding our most vital resource in California and the West accessible to more people.

Since 1977, the magazine has been a trusted resource, and our journalism team works hard to not break that trust.

Our latest offering is a special report on groundwater because it’s so vital to California as a drinking water source and to grow our crops.

Announcement

2020 Water Leaders Class Releases Policy Recommendations for Adapting California Water Management to Climate Change
Class members to discuss topic at next month's Urban Water Institute Conference

Our 2020 Water Leaders class completed its year with a report outlining policy recommendations for adapting California water management to climate change.

The class of 23 up-and-coming leaders from various stakeholder groups and backgrounds – engineers, attorneys, planners, farmers, environmentalists and scientists - had full editorial control to choose recommendations.

Water News You Need to Know

Aquafornia news The Mercury News

Monday Top of the Scroll: Atmospheric river – Biggest storm of the year heading for California

Winter weather is finally arriving in Northern California. And after weeks of dry, warm conditions and growing drought concerns, it’s coming in hard. Forecasters say a sizable storm — the first significant atmospheric river event to hit the greater Bay Area this winter season and likely the biggest storm in at least 12 months — will soak much of California starting Tuesday night, continuing Wednesday, and bringing wet roads, downed trees, power outages and the possibility of mudslides. 

Related articles:

Aquafornia news San Francisco Chronicle

Environmental turnaround — 8 issues that will pivot in California’s favor under Biden

As wildfires, heat waves, water scarcity and threats to wildlife intensify in the West, California’s effort to confront these environmental crises now has support in Washington, a stark change from the past four years. Even as former President Donald Trump spent his final days in office on the sidelines, lamenting his election loss, his administration continued to roll back environmental conservation and gut climate regulations. 

Related article: 

Aquafornia news The Colorado Sun

Record low Lake Powell and bad 2021 drought forecast sets stage for water cuts

The dry 2020 and the lack of snow this season has water managers in seven states preparing for the first time for cutbacks outlined in drought contingency plans drafted two years ago.  A sobering forecast released this week by the Bureau of Reclamation shows the federally owned Lake Mead and Lake Powell — the nation’s two largest reservoirs and critical storage for Colorado River water and its 40 million users — dipping near-record-low levels.

Aquafornia news California WaterBlog

Blog: A Swiss cheese model for fish conservation in California

California water issues are notoriously complicated by a massive diversity of users, ecosystems, applications and futures. Indeed, water in the Delta has been described as a “wicked problem” indicating that these problems cannot be ignored and defy straightforward characterization and solutions. Below we highlight how a Swiss cheese model might be applied to vexing long-term declines in native fish populations in California.

Online Water Encyclopedia

Restored wetlands in Northern California
Aquapedia background

Wetlands

Wetlands are among the most important ecosystems in the world. They produce high levels of oxygen, filter toxic chemicals out of water, sequester carbon, reduce flooding and erosion, recharge groundwater and provide a diverse range of recreational opportunities from fishing and hunting to photography. They also serve as critical habitat for wildlife, including a large percentage of plants and animals on California’s endangered species list.

Salton Sea
Aquapedia background

Salton Sea

As part of the historic Colorado River Delta, the Salton Sea regularly filled and dried for thousands of years due to its elevation of 237 feet below sea level.

The most recent version of the Salton Sea was formed in 1905 when the Colorado River broke through a series of dikes and flooded the seabed for two years, creating California’s largest inland body of water. The Salton Sea, which is saltier than the Pacific Ocean, includes 130 miles of shoreline and is larger than Lake Tahoe

Aquapedia background

Drought

Drought— an extended period of limited or no precipitation— is a fact of life in California and the West, with water resources following boom and-bust patterns. During California’s most recent drought, from 2012–2016, much of the state experienced severe drought conditions – significantly less precipitation and snowpack, reduced streamflow and higher temperatures.

No portion of the West has been immune to drought during the last century and drought occurs with much greater frequency in the West than in any other regions of the country.

Pod

Important People in California Water History

Read about the history people who played a significant role in the water history of California.

Commands