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Announcement

Improvements in Forecasting to Better Manage Drought Is Focus of June 9 Workshop in Southern California
Registration Open for Irvine Event Highlighting Latest Science in Seasonal Precipitation Forecasting

Lake Oroville shows the effects of drought in July 2021, with little water in an arm of the lake.How can California water managers get ahead of the storms to improve drought management? A special one-day workshop June 9 in Irvine will highlight some of the latest research on seasonal precipitation forecasting that could help water managers across the state plan better for what winter might bring.

The workshop, Making Progress on Drought Management: Improvements in Seasonal Precipitation Forecasting, is sponsored by the California Department of Water Resources in partnership with the Water Education Foundation.

Announcement

Join Online Groundwater Short Course Starting May 12
Check out our monthly events calendar for details on this course and other water events in California

Photo of groundwater gushing into a percolation basin An online short course starting Thursday will provide registrants the opportunity to learn more about how groundwater is monitored, assessed and sustainably managed.

The class, offered by University of California, Davis and several other organizations in cooperation with the Water Education Foundation, will be held May 12, 19, 26 and June 2, 16 from 9 a.m. to noon.

Water News You Need to Know

Aquafornia news Agri-Pulse Communications, Inc.

Friday Top of the Scroll: Newsom pushes Water Commission to accelerate Sites Reservoir

As the drought deepens and an election nears, Gov. Gavin Newsom is taking extra steps to increase pressure—and responsibility—on the Water Commission for the Sites Reservoir Project proposal. During a Senate budget subcommittee hearing on Tuesday, Natural Resources Secretary Wade Crowfoot said the governor has tasked him with ensuring the commission “isn’t slowing down the progress of getting those [Proposition 1] projects online.” Newsom also charged Crowfoot with finding ways to remove regulatory barriers and accelerate the approval process for those projects.

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Aquafornia news Los Angeles Times

Ex-Interior secretary urges revamping of Colorado River pact

One hundred years after a landmark agreement divided the waters of the Colorado River among Western states, the pact is now showing its age as a hotter and drier climate has shrunk the river….Former Interior Secretary Bruce Babbitt, who oversaw management of the river under President Clinton, said it’s become clear that the 1922 Colorado River Compact should be revamped to adapt to the reduced amount of water that is available as global warming compounds the 22-year megadrought in the watershed.

Related articles: 

Aquafornia news Los Angeles Times

Northern California’s endangered Chinook salmon trucked to cooler waters

In a stopgap measure to help struggling spring- and winter-run Chinook salmon spawn in the face of rising water temperatures and lower water levels due to climate change, state and federal wildlife officials in Northern California have begun trucking adult fish to cooler waters. The spring- and winter-run salmon are genetically different, with the seasonal labels marking when adult fish travel from the Pacific Ocean back to the Sacramento River to spawn. The spring-run Chinook, listed as threatened under the Endangered Species Act, are being moved from traps at the base of Keswick Dam to Clear Creek in the Sacramento River.

Related article: 

Aquafornia news The Washington Post

High winds, heat boost fire threat as California faces long season

Fire danger is on the rise in California, as warm, dry and windy weather heralds a potentially long and difficult season. For several consecutive years, increasingly extreme, climate-change fueled wildfires have devastated parts of the state. The area of greatest concern late this week is in Northern California, where strong northerly winds will combine with dry vegetation in the Sacramento Valley…. The risk of fast-spreading blazes may ease this weekend, but officials have expressed serious concerns about the months ahead as the entirety of California contends with a historically severe drought that has turned many areas into a tinderbox.

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Online Water Encyclopedia

Aquapedia background Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta Map

Wetlands

Sacramento National Wildlife RefugeWetlands are among the most important and hardest-working ecosystems in the world, rivaling rain forests and coral reefs in productivity of life. 

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

Lake Oroville shows the effects of drought in 2014.

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 2012–2016 drought, much of the state experienced severe drought conditions: significantly less precipitation and snowpack, reduced streamflow and higher temperatures. Those same conditions reappeared early in 2021 prompting Gov. Gavin Newsom in May to declare drought emergencies in watersheds across 41 counties in California.

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Important People in California Water History

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