Stretching along the eastern edge of the state, the Sierra Nevada
region incorporates more than 25 percent of California’s land
area and forms one of the world’s most diverse watersheds.
It features granite cliffs, lush forests and alpine meadows on
the westside, and stark desert landscapes at the base of the
eastside. Wildlife includes bighorn sheep, mule deer, black bear
and mountain lions, hawks, eagles, and trout.
The majority of total annual precipitation – in the form of rain
and snow – falls in the Sierra Nevada. Snowmelt from the Sierra
provides water for irrigation for farms that produce half of the
nation’s fruit, nuts and vegetables, and also is a vital source
for dairies, which have made California the largest milk producer
in the country.
In addition, Sierra snowmelt provides drinking water to Sierra
Nevada residents and a portion of drinking water to 23 million
people living in cities stretching from the Bay Area to Southern
This 28-page report describes the watersheds of the Sierra Nevada
region and details their importance to California’s overall water
picture. It describes the region’s issues and challenges,
including healthy forests, catastrophic fire, recreational
impacts, climate change, development and land use.
The report also discusses the importance of protecting and
restoring watersheds in order to retain water quality and enhance
quantity. Examples and case studies are included.
Problems with polluted stormwater and steps that can be taken to
prevent such pollution and turn what is often viewed as
“nuisance” runoff into a water resource is the focus of this
publication, Stormwater Management: Turning Runoff into a
Resource. The 16-page booklet, funded by a grant from the State
Water Resources Control Board, includes color photos and
graphics, text explaining common stormwater pollutants and
efforts to prevent stormwater runoff through land use/
planning/development – as well as tips for homeowners to reduce
their impacts on stormwater pollution.
This 24-page booklet details the conflict between
environmentalists, fish organizations and the Yuba County Water
Agency and how it was resolved through the Lower Yuba River
Accord – a unique agreement supported by 18 agencies and
non-governmental organizations. The publication details
the history and hydrology of the Yuba River, past and present
environmental concerns, and conflicts over dam operations and
protecting endangered fish is included.
This 24-page booklet traces the development of the
landmark Water Forum Agreement, signed in April 2000 by 40
Sacramento region water purveyors, public officials, community
group leaders, environmentalists and business representatives.
The publication also offers insight on lessons learned by
Water Forum participants.
The key to the state’s water future and the key to wetlands
health is balance. This 28-page briefing, illustrated with
beautiful color photos, defines wetlands, offers an overview of
how they have been transformed and provides information on
today’s effort to preserve those that remain and even restore
portions that have been changed.
This 109-page publication details the importance of protecting
source water – surface water and groundwater – on reservations
from pollution and includes a step-by-step work plan for tribes
interested in developing a protection plan for their drinking
water. The workbook is designed to serve as a template for such
programs, with forms and tables for photocopying. It also offers
a simplified approach for assessment and protection that focuses
on identifying and managing immediate contamination threats.
A written transcript of a 1992 interview with six major figures
in the early development of California water whose work ranged
from Shasta Dam to the Imperial Valley as they shaped the state’s
water story beginning in the 1920s.