As atmospheric rivers blasted across California this year, they
brought epic amounts of rain and snow follwing a three-year
Devastating and deadly floods hit parts of the state and now all
eyes are on the potential for more flooding, particularly in
the San Joaquin Valley as the record amount of snow in the
Sierras melts with warmer temperatures.
With anticipated sea level rise and other impacts of a changing
climate, flood management is increasingly critical in California.
Since 1977 the Water Education
Foundation has worked to inspire better understanding
and catalyze critical conversations about our most vital
natural resource: water.
This is not a mission our impartial nonprofit can carry out
Today on Giving Tuesday, a global day of philanthropy, please
consider making a tax-deductible
donation to support the important work we do to
provide impartial education and foster informed decision-making
on water issues in California and the West.
Most U.S. cities would have to replace lead water pipes within
10 years under strict new rules proposed by the Environmental
Protection Agency as the Biden administration moves to reduce
lead in drinking water and prevent public health crises like
the ones in Flint, Mich., and Washington, D.C. Millions of
people consume drinking water from lead pipes, and the agency
said tighter standards would improve IQ scores in children and
reduce high blood pressure and heart disease in adults. It
would be the biggest overhaul of lead rules in more than three
decades and would cost billions of dollars. Pulling it off
would require overcoming enormous practical and financial
California will escape much of the rainfall from an incoming
atmospheric river, but the storm will still benefit some of the
state’s reservoirs. An atmospheric river is forecast to
saturate much of the Pacific Northwest over the next week. …
The incoming storm could bring up to 2 inches of rain to two of
the state’s northern lakes. … Lake Shasta is at 126
percent its historical average, but still at only 68 percent
capacity. Trinity Lake is at only 49 percent capacity, a far
cry from its historical average of 86 percent. Rainfall is
anticipated to begin on Friday and continue through Wednesday.
Drought is starting to unfold as an unprecedented
planetary-scale emergency, the United Nations has warned. A new
Global Drought Snapshot report released by the UN Convention to
Combat Desertification (UNCCD) at COP28 has warned that drought
is becoming a silent killer as climate change worsens. It warns
that it is claiming more lives, causing economic loss, and
seriously affecting some areas of society, than ever before.
… California, Utah, Nevada and New Mexico are just a
handful of states that have experienced extreme drought
conditions in recent years. It’s not just the U.S. that is
affected—the report warns that countries all over the globe are
suffering, making it an unprecedented threat as climate change
A unique land trust in southwestern Tulare County that aims to
preserve farming by strategically fallowing land for habitat is
moving forward on several projects. The Tule Basin Land & Water
Conservation Trust was formed in 2020 by area farmers and water
managers intent on finding solutions to the region’s
groundwater woes that didn’t include a massive and random
shuttering of productive farmland. How is it possible to save
farming through fallowing? The trust’s ongoing Capinero
Creek and Lower Deer creek projects are two examples.
Capinero Creek is a 467-acre former dairy next to the Pixley
National Wildlife Refuge. The project, funded by a grant from
the Bureau of Reclamation, will restore alkali scrub habitat on
the site for threatened and endangered species.
Wetlands are among the most
important and hardest-working ecosystems in the world, rivaling
rain forests and coral reefs in productivity of life.
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
Operated by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, the
Bay Model is a giant hydraulic replica of San Francisco
Bay and the Sacramento-San Joaquin
Delta. It is housed in a converted World II-era
warehouse in Sausalito near San Francisco.
Hundreds of gallons of water are pumped through the
three-dimensional, 1.5-acre model to simulate a tidal ebb
and flow lasting 14 minutes.
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.