Topic: Climate Change


Climate Change

Aquafornia news North Lake Tahoe Bonanza

Commentary: Scientists looking for new ways to battle climate change, increasing populations at Lake Tahoe

For years, the health of Lake Tahoe was best understood by means of an annual dropping of a white disk — known as a Secchi disk — in the middle of the lake and measuring the depth at which it could still be seen.

Aquafornia news Los Angeles Times

Number of days with temperatures above 95°F to soar in Los Angeles County

By 2050, parts of Los Angeles County are forecast to experience triple or quadruple the number of days of extreme heat if nothing is done to control greenhouse gas emissions, placing further demand on the region’s drinking water and electricity, according to two new reports by UCLA scientists.

Aquafornia news U.S. Geological Survey

News Release: Climate change threatens native trout diversity

Scientists have discovered that the diversity of a threatened native trout species will likely decrease due to future climate change.  … Researchers with the USGS, University of Montana and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service examined whether bull trout genetic diversity was related to climate vulnerability at the watershed scale, which was determined on the basis of current and future predictions of stream temperature and flow and existing habitat conditions.  

Aquafornia news Sierra Sun

Climate change, corporate investment part of new era of ski business at Tahoe

When Andy Wirth became the CEO of Squaw Valley Ski Resort in November 2010, he did so amid a precipitation-laden winter that saw enormous snow loads give skiers at Lake Tahoe plenty of coveted powder days.

Aquafornia news Stockton Record

Flood plan comes at a cost

The plan by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers calls for improving 23 miles of levees, from Mosher Slough in the north to French Camp Slough in the south. This is intended to protect much of Stockton from catastrophic floods worsened by climate change.

Aquafornia news The Brookings Institution

Blog: Combating climate change and water scarcity in the U.S. (with video)

Pat Mulroy, a senior fellow with the Metropolitan Policy Program at Brookings and a senior fellow for climate adaptation and environmental policy at UNLV’s Brookings Mountain West, discusses the water scarcity issues that have developed over the last few decades and the realistic future of water in the U.S. … During her tenure at SNWA [Southern Nevada Water Authority], the region faced a huge crisis when one of the worst droughts in the history of the Colorado River hit the region.

Aquafornia news The Sacramento Bee

Blog: Does California’s water use drive climate change?

The link between delivering or treating water and expending energy will be the topic of a Senate Select Committee on Climate Change hearing in Calabasas today.

Aquafornia news San Francisco Chronicle

Commentary: Tap California’s innovators to develop water policies

After 40 years of working on California water issues, it sometimes feels to me [George Miller] as if we haven’t learned anything. … The policies of the past century won’t work in a future where we will face continued population growth and the effects of climate change.

Aquafornia news Los Angeles Times

Rising temperatures are amplifying drought effects, study finds

Climate change is increasing the risk of severe drought in California by causing warm periods and dry periods to overlap more often, according to a new study.

Aquafornia news Stanford Report

News Release: Stanford scientists — Warming temperatures implicated in California droughts

In a new study, published in the March 2 issue of the journal of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, researchers led by Stanford professor Noah Diffenbaugh examined the role that temperature has played in California droughts over the past 120 years. They also examined the effect that human emissions of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases are having on temperature and precipitation, focusing on the influence of global warming upon California’s past, present and future drought risk.

Aquafornia news Los Angeles Times

Scientists explain how climate change helps fuel California drought

Climate change is increasing the risk of severe drought in California by causing warm periods and dry periods to overlap more often, according to a new study.

Aquafornia news Los Angeles Times

Is drought the new normal for Southern California?

Increased carbon dioxide in the atmosphere is altering Earth’s most important atmospheric weather cell, drawing more moisture into the deep tropics and broadening areas of drought at higher latitudes, according to a new study.

Aquafornia news San Francisco Chronicle

Editorial: Science documents firmer evidence on climate change. Will lawmakers act?

A panel of scientists, including several from the Bay Area, have pinpointed levels of a key heat-trapping gas long blamed for wild swings in the weather. … The fresh facts have an important role to play.

Western Water Magazine

Is California’s Water Supply Resilient and Sustainable?
January/February 2015

This issue looks at sustainability and resiliency and what the terms mean for California’s water.

Aquafornia news NPR

Climate scientist tries arts to stir hearts regarding Earth’s fate (with audio)

A decade ago, physicist Robert Davies wasn’t all that interested in Earth’s climate.

Aquafornia news San Francisco Chronicle

King tides at Candlestick Point offer glimpse of planet’s future

As this week’s king tides washed over a small beach at Candlestick Point, the San Francisco Bay became an unlikely classroom for teaching the grim reality of sea-level rise.

Aquafornia news San Jose Mercury News

Scientists call for ‘geoengineering’ tests to find ways to cool the planet

Scientists are so concerned about global warming that they’re now calling for tests to find ways to cool the planet — the first step toward exploration of a highly controversial field that sounds like science fiction.

Aquafornia news Las Vegas Review-Journal

Climate change will increase evaporation of Colorado River

The Colorado River faces a dual threat from climate change as rising temperatures increase the demand for irrigation water and accelerate evaporation at the river’s two largest reservoirs. So says a new report from the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation …

Aquafornia news San Gabriel Valley Tribune

Global warming wasn’t the only reason 2014 was California’s hottest year

Explaining warmer temperatures can be complex. … But after interviews with scientists, urban policy experts and a review of reports, what made 2014 the warmest year on Earth, as well as in the western United States, was a mix of powerful forces that pushed the mercury up especially inside the heat lamps known as cities.

Aquafornia news San Gabriel Valley Tribune

Tucson-based group brings unique program on energy, drought, climate change to Whittier

Former University of Arizona chemistry professor and science adviser to two secretaries of state under President George W. Bush, George Atkinson believes the scientific method is working. … For the next six weeks, he’s bringing his method to Whittier, asking chosen representatives of the city of 86,000 to serve as a model for any town Southern California and discuss, debate and agree on a plan to address global climate change as well as droughts and energy use.

Aquafornia news U.S. Geological Survey (USGS)

News Release: Predicting plant responses to drought

A new U.S. Geological Survey study shows how plants’ vulnerability to drought varies across the landscape; factors such as plant structure and soil type where the plant is growing can either make them more vulnerable or protect them from declines. Recent elevated temperatures and prolonged droughts in many already water-limited regions throughout the world, including the southwestern U.S., are likely to intensify according to future climate model projections.

Aquafornia news Marin Independent Journal

Dealing with sea level rise becomes real in Marin

By next year work should be underway on National Park Service property at Stinson Beach to gird against rising seas that are predicted to swallow part of Marin’s coast sometime this century. The threat of sea-level rise is the primary reason why the park service is planning a $2.3 million revamp of a wastewater treatment system …

Aquafornia news U.S. Geological Survey (USGS)

Fact Sheet: Climate Change — Evaluating Your Local and Regional Water Resources

Recently, the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) has developed modeling tools that integrate climate data with rigorously developed regional and local environmental data to understand the hydrologic response to climate change and the effects on regional and local watersheds and landscapes.

Aquafornia news The Sacramento Bee

Commentary: Warm rains dictate new reservoirs

We should be building more low-elevation, off-stream storage such as the San Luis Reservoir in the Pacheco Pass west of Los Banos (which could be enlarged) or the proposed Sites reservoir in the foothills west of Colusa, which would hold about a million acre-feet of water.

Aquafornia news Los Angeles Times

Commentary: Can Jerry Brown truly be a climate action champion if he does not reject fracking?

California Gov. Jerry Brown has done more to fight climate change than perhaps any other elected official in the United States.

Aquafornia news U.S. Department of the Interior

News Release: President proposes $13.2 billion budget for Interior Department

President Obama’s fiscal year (FY) 2016 budget request of $13.2 billion for the Department of the Interior continues the Administration’s strong support for Interior’s core missions, protecting the nation’s cultural and natural heritage, responsibly managing energy development on public lands and waters, investing in science, and honoring the nation’s trust responsibilities to Native Americans and Alaska Natives and our special commitments to affiliated island communities.

Aquafornia news The Desert Sun

Commentary: The dance band on the Titanic

For as long as I can remember, my days have begun with a hot decaf and the morning paper, much of it filled with headlines of man’s inhumanity to man. But more and more these days, those headlines are sharing space with stories of man’s inhumanity to nature.

Aquafornia news Associated Press

Obama orders stricter flood standards for federal projects

President Barack Obama has signed an executive order requiring federal projects to meet stricter standards for withstanding flooding that scientists say could worsen because of climate change.

Aquafornia news Associated Press

NASA launches Earth-observing satellite

The satellite is on a three-year mission to track the amount of water locked in soil, which may help residents in low-lying regions brace for floods or farmers get ready for drought conditions.

Aquafornia news Los Angeles Times

NASA launches Earth-observing satellite on third try

Amid growing concern about global weather patterns, a rocket roared into space Saturday carrying a NASA satellite that will give scientists new tools to forecast weather, track drought and monitor climate change.

Aquafornia news Los Angeles Times

NASA moves Vandenberg satellite launch to Saturday

NASA has again postponed the launch of a satellite on a mission to gather water data that will help forecast weather, track drought and monitor climate change.

Aquafornia news Los Angeles Times

Climate models don’t over-predict warming, study shows

If you listen to climate change skeptics, Earth’s surface hasn’t warmed appreciably in the last 15 years, and any “record” set last year is just the result of the planet doing what the planet naturally does. It turns out they’re right, but for the wrong reasons, according to a study published online Wednesday in the journal Nature.

Aquafornia news Maven's Notebook

Blog: Michael Anderson, state climatologist — Climate, drought and change

Earlier this month, the Public Policy Institute of California held a half-day conference in Sacramento focusing on how the state can manage through another dry year and become more drought resilient. Is the current drought a sign of things to come? Michael Anderson, state climatologist with the Department of Water Resources, kicked off the PPIC conference, Managing Drought, with a presentation addressing that question.

Aquafornia news Los Angeles Times

Scientists see shrinking California snowpack as a harbinger

The state Department of Water Resources and the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation, the two agencies that operate most of California’s large dams, are in the early stages of studying possible rules changes to accommodate shifts in hydrology expected with a warming climate.

Aquafornia news San Francisco Chronicle

Sea slug masses migrate to Northern California coast

A colorful flood of tiny southern sea slugs rarely seen in the waters off Northern California is puzzling scientists concerned about the warming ocean.

Aquafornia news Monterey County Herald

EcoFarm kicks off 35th year with climate change talk

EcoFarm, the premier organic and sustainable agriculture gathering in the West, is jam-packed with talks related to lack of water over its four days.

Aquafornia news The Sacramento Bee

Sacramento State launching environmental research institute

Sacramento State plans to launch a new institute that will merge environmental science and policymaking, particularly concerning climate change and water-related issues that challenge California and the world.

Aquafornia news U.S. Environmental Protection Agency

News Release: EPA administrator at X Games to focus on economic and environmental need to act on climate

On Thursday, EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy will join the X Games in Aspen, Colo., to bring attention to the extreme weather impacts of climate change. A strong economy and a strong environment go hand in hand, which makes acting on climate necessary to protect tourism, recreation and the outdoor industry.

Aquafornia news U.S. Geological Survey

News Release: Melting glaciers increase flow of carbon to downstream ecosystems

Melting glaciers are not just impacting sea level, they are also affecting the flow of organic carbon to the world’s oceans, according to new research that provides the first ever global-scale estimates for the storage and release of organic carbon from glaciers.

Aquafornia news Orange County Register

They’re keeping an eye on the rising tides

For [Courtney] James, restoration coordinator for the Coastal Commission and the Coastal Clean Up director for Orange County Coastkeeper, keeping tabs on the environment is something to do every day. But on Monday, she was joined by people from around the state who had volunteered to participate in the California King Tides Project … 

Aquafornia news The Sacramento Bee

Commentary: Protecting California’s natural lands is key to combating climate change

Today, we face climate change as our biggest environmental challenge, and these lands are more important than ever. Drought and extreme weather already impact California’s communities and economy; rising sea levels already erode our coastline.

Aquafornia news Marin Independent Journal

Commentary: Marin needs a plan to adapt to sea-level rise

The recent flooding and near closure of Highway 101 during storms and high tides is a preview of things to come. … Sea-level rise will happen, no matter what actions we take to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and climate change.

Aquafornia news Associated Press

The heat is on; NOAA, NASA say 2014 warmest year on record

For the third time in a decade, the globe sizzled to the hottest year on record, federal scientists announced Friday.

Aquafornia news U.S. Environmental Protection Agency

News Release: EPA launches Finance Center to improve community water infrastructure and resiliency

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency launched the Water Infrastructure and Resiliency Finance Center today to help communities across the country improve their wastewater, drinking water and stormwater systems, particularly through innovative financing and by building resilience to climate change.

Aquafornia news Los Angeles Times

2014 was Earth’s warmest year, December its warmest month

The average surface temperature on Earth was higher in 2014 than at any time since scientists began taking detailed measurements 135 years ago.

Aquafornia news Los Angeles Times

Slower start, fast finish for sea level rise last century, study says

Sea level rise during the bulk of the 20th century has been overestimated, a new report suggests.

Aquafornia news San Francisco Chronicle

Flooding worsens at Mill Valley commuter lot

Cars stranded in high waters, traffic backups and the potential for damage to hybrid buses are among the fallout from the low-lying interchange just steps from San Francisco Bay — an area that may provide a glimpse of what’s to come for much of the coastline as sea levels rise amid global warming.

Aquafornia news Los Angeles Times

Editorial: Reducing methane is a wise short-term win

Methane is emitted by cattle, landfills and leaky natural-gas pipes, and the technology for reducing it is well within our grasp. … Fracking is a major source of methane emissions as well.

Aquafornia news Associated Press

Study: Sea level rise accelerating more than once thought

The world’s oceans are now rising far faster than they did in the past, a new study says.

Aquafornia news KQED Public Radio for Northern California

Blog: Napa wineries face global warming

It just goes to show, scientists say, that which wines become popular has more to do with personal taste and marketing than with warming temperatures and water availability.

Aquafornia news Los Angeles Times

Editorial: California’s bold attack on climate change

California is moving toward its goal of generating a third of its electrical power from solar, wind and other renewable sources by 2020, as promised five years ago by then-Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger.

Aquafornia news San Jose Mercury News

2014 warmest year ever recorded in California

Driven by climate change and a persistent ridge of high pressure over the Pacific Ocean that caused California’s drought, 2014 was the state’s hottest year ever recorded. … On Monday, California Gov. Jerry Brown made climate change a centerpiece of his inaugural address.

Aquafornia news Tahoe Daily Tribune

Climate change focus of public presentations in South Tahoe

What society can do in the face of climate change, both on a global and more localized scale, is just one of the topics up for discussion at this week’s meteorologist conference at Lake Tahoe’s South Shore.

Aquafornia news The Sacramento Bee

2014 was hottest year in Sacramento’s history

Sacramento plodded through its hottest year on record in 2014, with an average high temperature a full degree above the city’s next-hottest year, according to a Bee analysis of records from the National Climatic Data Center.

Aquafornia news The Desert Sun

Once desert springs, now dry

As a boy in the late 1940s, Harry Quinn hiked with his family to a desert spring in the Santa Rosa Mountains where cool water flowed into an oasis filled with tadpoles. Now the spring is dry.

Aquafornia news Sierra Sun

Squaw-Alpine: Climate change an industry threat to Tahoe resorts

For the past four years, Squaw Valley | Alpine Meadows management has been “quietly, but assertively” working on improving the resort’s sustainability practices, officials said this week.

Aquafornia news Santa Rosa Press Democrat

North Coast legislators see common ground in Gov. Brown’s new agenda

Expect North Coast lawmakers to do what they can to further much of Gov. Jerry Brown’s agenda during his historic fourth term in office.

Aquafornia news Santa Rosa Press Democrat

Editorial: Brown begins with appeal for future

Gov. Jerry Brown kicked off his unprecedented fourth term Monday with an appeal to lawmakers to confront California’s greatest challenges … Overall, Brown had little to say about his more costly and controversial projects including high-speed rail and his two-tunnel plan for redirecting water resources to the Central Valley.

Aquafornia news San Bernardino County Sun

Editorial: For California’s Gov. Brown, balance won’t be easy to keep

The most welcome words in Gov. Jerry Brown’s combined inaugural and State of the State speech Monday morning came at the beginning and the end, in which Brown urged caution with California’s “precariously” balanced budget, saying lawmakers must “build for the future, not steal from it.”

Aquafornia news Associated Press

California governor toughens climate-change goals

As he was sworn in for a record fourth term, Gov. Jerry Brown charted an ambitious new goal on Monday for California in its fight against climate change, challenging the nation’s most populous state to increase renewable energy use to 50 percent in the next 15 years. … Brown spoke of the state’s need to address long-term water issues …

Aquafornia news The Sacramento Bee

Tuesday’s Top of the Scroll: Gov. Jerry Brown takes fourth oath, targets climate change

Gov. Jerry Brown, sworn in Monday for a fourth and final term, called in his inaugural address for sweeping changes to fight climate change and for renewed spending on California’s aging infrastructure.

Aquafornia news Los Angeles Times

Commentary: Will thirsty Californians swallow the Pacific Northwest’s culture?

California is in the midst of the worst drought in five centuries. But even if this drought ends, it seems another is coming. … Naturally, here in Oregon, we’re terrified.

Aquafornia news Redding Record Searchlight

Blog: Eleven trillion gallons to go

Temperature is all that matters. Ten trillion gallons could fall from the sky tomorrow but if it doesn’t freeze and hold still as snow and ice in the mountains, what good is it?

Aquafornia news The Sacramento Bee

Commentary: The answer on human-caused climate change is in

Earth is in a remarkable transition from a world in which human influence on climate has been negligible to one in which our influence is increasingly dominant. One of the most active research areas in the climate sciences is the field of detection and attribution: the effort to see and identify the fingerprint of climate change in our extremes of weather.

Aquafornia news The Sacramento Bee

Yurok tribe hopes California’s cap-and-trade can save a way of life

Instead of preparing to sell lumber, as it has in the past, the state’s largest Indian tribe is taking stock of its firs, redwoods and tanoaks to make money in California’s cap-and-trade program.

Aquafornia news Bureau of Reclamation

News Release: Reclamation seeks comments on proposed Climate Change Adaptation Policy

The Bureau of Reclamation is seeking public comment on a draft Reclamation Manual release for climate change adaptation. This policy establishes how Reclamation will address climate change impacts upon Reclamation’s mission, facilities, operations and personnel.

Aquafornia news Marin Independent Journal

Marin climate change program puts face on sea-level rise

A high-tech project aimed at engaging residents in climate change issues by enabling them to visualize the changing landscape amid rising seas was launched this week at Marin Civic Center.

Aquafornia news The Sacramento Bee

Commentary: Fracking undercuts climate change, water advances

Gov. Jerry Brown and the other West Coast leaders – Oregon Gov. John Kitzhaber, Washington Gov. Jay Inslee and British Columbia Premier Christy Clark – who have pledged to solve global warming deserve a heartfelt “thank you” from the people of California and around the world, especially as Congress stalls on climate change.

Aquafornia news Associated Press

Study: Hotter days in U.S. mean less cold cash

Hotter days mean less cold cash for Americans, according to a new study matching 40 years of temperatures to economics. … This is not from storms, drought or other weather disasters - just the sweat of daily heat.

Aquafornia news The Sacramento Bee

Commentary: Rice farms could provide offsets in carbon market

Sometimes it takes a crisis like climate change to reveal a golden opportunity. Our rice farmers in Northern California have long been exemplary stewards of their land, both in terms of providing habitat for waterfowl and other wildlife and for their ongoing efforts to work with environmental and research organizations to improve their farming practices.

Aquafornia news Los Angeles Times

Commentary: A Pacific Coast model for addressing climate change

Last year, our four governments — the states of California, Oregon and Washington and the Province of British Columbia — reached a landmark agreement to align climate and energy strategies for 54 million Americans and Canadians. … And we believe it can be a blueprint for other regions to take action.

Aquafornia news Los Angeles Times

Southern California precipitation will remain the same with climate change, study finds

Overall rainfall amounts in the Los Angeles region will remain the same in coming decades, according to a new study that examined the effects of a warming climate on Southern California precipitation. The third in a series of UCLA studies on the impact of climate change on Los Angeles, the report is good news for the city’s efforts to develop more local water supplies.

Aquafornia news Water in the West

Blog: Water Governance and Climate Change — Drought in California as a Lens on Our Climate Future

A new report on water governance and climate change through the lens of the current California drought has just been released by Stanford University’s Water in the West Program. This report, authored by Water in the West visiting scholar Jacqueline Peel and research analyst Janny Choy, summarizes the insights, lessons and key findings of a workshop hosted by Water in the West in September 2014, which brought together participants who have played central roles in managing water during California’s current drought. 

Aquafornia news KQED Public Media for Northern Calif.

Blog: Climate change — Beyond the headlines

In order to help students understand the science of climate change, KQED, the University of California Museum of Paleontology and the Precourt Institute for Energy at Stanford University have partnered on a new iBooks Textbook series and iTunes U course, called Clue into Climate. … The Clue into Climate iBooks Textbooks are available for iPads and Macs, and can be downloaded for free from the iBooks Store.

Aquafornia news Associated Press

Feds: Don’t blame California drought on warming

Don’t blame man-made global warming for the devastating California drought, a new federal report says. A report issued Monday by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration said natural variations – mostly a La Nina weather oscillation – were the primary drivers behind the drought that has now stretched to three years.

Aquafornia news KQED Public Media for Northern Calif.

Blog: California’s drought — Is it global warming?

Federal climate scientists say that California’s drought, now in its fourth year, is not likely the product of human-induced global warming.

Aquafornia news Bureau of Reclamation

News Release: Reclamation to hold Sacramento and San Joaquin Basins Study public meeting

The public is invited to participate in the meeting on Tuesday, Dec. 9, 2014, from 1:30-4:00 p.m. at the Bureau of Reclamation Regional Office, 2800 Cottage Way, Cafeteria Conference Room C1003 (adjacent to the Cafeteria), Sacramento, CA 95825. Interested individuals, agencies and stakeholders may participate person or online. … Reclamation will present a summary of climate change impacts and findings identified in the Sacramento and San Joaquin Basins Climate Impact Assessment, released on Sept. 22.

Aquafornia news The Sacramento Bee

Seminar will discuss climate change and California water supplies

The public has a unique opportunity Tuesday to learn about how climate change may alter the availability of water in California and to offer ideas on adapting to those changes.

Aquafornia news Center for American Progress

Infographic: Flush floods

As climate change exacerbates the most severe weather and speeds sea-level rise, deficiencies in wastewater infrastructure will become harder to ignore—and increasingly costly to clean up after failures.

Aquafornia news Maven's Notebook

Blog: Dr. Dan Cayan — Climate change and California’s water: What challenges can we anticipate?

Dr. Dan Cayan is the director of the Climate Change Center at Scripps and also concurrently holds a research position in the USGS Water Resources division. At the November meeting of the Delta Stewardship Council, he gave an overview of California’s climate variability and of the current state of knowledge of the potential impacts of climate change on the state’s water resources.

Aquafornia news UT San Diego

Commentary: HBO’s ‘The Newsroom’ distorts climate change research by Scripps Institution of Oceanography

Do scientists at UC San Diego’s Scripps Institution of Oceanography believe that global warming will wipe out civilization? I’ve never heard anyone utter those words in the nearly 30 years I’ve followed Scripps.

Aquafornia news Los Angeles Times

Tuesday’s Top of the Scroll: Neither rain nor snow nor heat sways views on climate science

Freaky seasons and drastic weather anomalies do little to convince most people that climate change is real – political ideology does much more, according to a study published online Monday in the journal Nature Climate Change.

Aquafornia news Bureau of Reclamation

News Release: Reclamation to hold Sacramento and San Joaquin Basins Study public meeting

Next month, the Bureau of Reclamation will hold the fourth in a series of public meetings designed to inform stakeholders and the public about the Sacramento and San Joaquin Basins Study. The public is invited to participate in the meeting on Tuesday, Dec. 9, 2014, from 1:30-4:00 p.m. at the Bureau of Reclamation Regional Office, 2800 Cottage Way, Cafeteria Conference Room C1003 (adjacent to the Cafeteria), Sacramento, CA 95825. Interested individuals, agencies and stakeholders may participate person or online.

Aquafornia news U.S. Environmental Protection Agency

News Release: EPA helps California’s Redwood Valley County Water District prepare for a changing climate

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is helping the Redwood Valley County Water District, in Mendocino County, Calif. assess the risks they face from climate change and to take actions that increase resilience. The Water District and more than 20 other communities nationwide will each receive up to $30,000 in training and technical assistance to identify assets, threats, and adaptation options to reduce their risk from climate change.

Aquafornia news Associated Press

Study finds as world warms, U.S. gets more lightning

Lightning strikes in the United States will likely increase by nearly 50 percent by the end of the century as the world gets warmer and wetter, a new study says.

Aquafornia news U.S. Geological Survey

News Release: Who will come to your bird feeder in 2075?

The distribution of birds in the United States today will probably look very different in 60 years as a result of climate, land use and land cover changes.

Aquafornia news Associated Press

Climate change inspires rise of ‘cli-fi’ flicks

“Cli-fi” movies have emerged as a niche genre, taking the pomp of doomsday science-fiction flicks and mixing it with the underlying message of environmental awareness.

Aquafornia news Bureau of Reclamation

News Release: Commitment to address climate change issues highlighted in Reclamation Climate Adaptation Strategy

Bureau of Reclamation’s Principal Deputy Commissioner Estevan López has released the Climate Change Adaptation Strategy for Reclamation. In line with President Obama’s Climate Action Plan, the strategy provides a framework in which Reclamation managers can develop and adopt innovative solutions that provide a more reliable water supply in a changing climate.

Aquafornia news Tribune Washington Bureau

Warning in climate change report is loudest yet by scientists

Climate change driven by the burning of fossil fuels is already affecting life on every continent and in the oceans, and the window is closing rapidly for governments to avert the worst damage expected to occur later this century, scientists warned in one of the loudest alarms yet sounded by the international scientific community.

Aquafornia news The Sacramento Bee

Monday’s Top of the Scroll: New research predicts California droughts will worsen

Future droughts in California are likely to bite deeper and last longer than the one now gripping the state, according to new research into the potential effects of climate change.

Aquafornia news U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's "It's Our Environment"

Blog: Climate change and the dry, wild West, Part 2

In my last blog, I discussed how low rainfall and higher-than-average temperatures are worsening the drought and causing severe water shortages. The changes that are affecting the drought in the Southwest – lower-than-average rain, higher temperatures, and changes in snowpack and runoff patterns – are consistent with the changes we expect to see with climate change.

Aquafornia news Natural Resources Defense Council Switchboard

Blog: The World We Create — My new book and a message of hope for the planet

My work at NRDC has brought me to the front lines of the climate crisis. … The book is a clarion call for the United States to become carbon neutral in our lifetime — to ensure that even as our economy grows, our fossil fuel pollution does not rise, and instead, decreases at an accelerated rate.

Aquafornia news Associated Press

UN expert: Keep up hope amid climate change battle

A top U.N. climate change expert urged world governments Monday not to be overcome by hopelessness as they negotiate a new agreement to fight global warming.

Aquafornia news The Sacramento Bee

Monday’s Top of the Scroll: De León says ‘green jobs’ will be priority as Senate leader

In his first policy speech as California’s Senate leader, Kevin de León said one of his key priorities will be combating climate change by setting policies that promote energy efficiency. … In his speech to the water officials Thursday, de León also stumped for Proposition 1 …”

Aquafornia news Bay Area News Group

West Nile cases surging in state, Bay Area

In the midst of a historic drought, public health officials are searching for clues as to why cases of West Nile virus have exploded statewide since last year, making this season the worst for human infections in California since 2005.

Aquafornia news San Jose Mercury News

EPA awards two Bay Area companies for green chemistry

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency honored two Bay Area chemical companies Thursday for products and processes that reduce or eliminate hazardous substances and may save water and reduce greenhouse gases too.

Aquafornia news The Washington Post

The West is bone dry. Here’s how to help

Drought is rampant these days in many parts of the American West, so consider this a pretty sweet gift: You’ve just been given the rights to some water. … Your job is to turn around and use that resource in the most valuable way possible.

Aquafornia news San Francisco Chronicle

New San Francisco restaurant’s mission: Save the environment

Can ordering a locally sourced, grass-fed steak and an expertly made cocktail in a trendy restaurant actually combat climate change? That’s the goal with the Perennial, a Mid-Market restaurant experiment due in the spring that’s the first of its kind in the Bay Area, if not the country.

Aquafornia news Slate

Blog: Pacific Decadal Oscillation — We may see two El Niño years in a row

As this year’s El Niño sets in, early signs are pointing toward the possibility of a rare occurrence: back-to-back El Niño years. If it happens, it would virtually guarantee a new global heat record in 2015 and could help usher in a decade or more of accelerated warming.

Aquafornia news The New York Times

The risks of cheap water

This summer, California’s water authority declared that wasting water — hosing a sidewalk, for example — was a crime. Next door, in Nevada, Las Vegas has paid out $200 million over the last decade for homes and businesses to pull out their lawns.

Aquafornia news Associated Press

With their mark on Earth, humans may name era, too

People are changing Earth so much, warming and polluting it, that many scientists are turning to a new way to describe the time we live in. They’re calling it the Anthropocene — the age of humans.

Aquafornia news Associated Press

Wildlife groups sue for wolverine protections

A coalition of advocacy groups on Monday challenged the government’s denial of federal protections for the snow-loving wolverine, arguing in a lawsuit that officials disregarded evidence a warming climate will eliminate denning areas for the so-called “mountain devil.”

Aquafornia news Capital Public Radio

Climate change may be impacting fish spawning numbers

The U.S. Forest Service is trying to understand how fish spawning in streams around Lake Tahoe might be affected by climate change.

Aquafornia news Associated Press

Report: Climate change poses military challenges

Defense officials say a report slated for release Monday will lay out plans for the Pentagon to get a better handle on how climate change will affect the military, and determine how best to deal with the challenges.

Aquafornia news Los Angeles Times

Few U.S. states preparing for climate change, study says

Fewer than half of American states are working to protect themselves from climate change, despite more detailed warnings from scientists that communities are already being damaged, according to a new online clearinghouse of states’ efforts compiled by the Georgetown Climate Center.

Aquafornia news Los Angeles Times

Satellite images reveal shocking groundwater loss in California

The severity of California’s drought continues to shock, with the latest example coming courtesy of NASA.

Aquafornia news NPR

When can a big storm or drought be blamed on climate change?

Nowadays, when there’s a killer heat wave or serious drought somewhere, people wonder: Is this climate change at work?

Aquafornia news San Jose Mercury News

California’s drought linked to greenhouse gases, climate change in Stanford study

The stubborn high-pressure systems that block California rains are linked to the abundance of human-caused greenhouse gases that heat the oceans, according to a major paper released Monday by Stanford scientists. But two other new studies disagree — saying there’s no evidence that warming ocean waters are to blame for our drought.

Aquafornia news Los Angeles Times

California drought and climate warming: Studies find no clear link

Global warming contributed to extreme heat waves in many parts of the world last year, but cannot be definitively linked to the California drought, according to a report released Monday.

Aquafornia news Associated Press

Studies fault warming in much of 2013 wild weather

Scientists looking at 16 cases of wild weather around the world last year see the fingerprints of man-made global warming on more than half of them. … The California drought, though, comes with an asterisk.

Aquafornia news McClatchy Washington, D.C., Bureau

EPA head: No need to fear hurting economy in battle against climate change

Hot off the United Nations Climate Summit 2014, the head of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency kept up the Obama administration’s push for significant changes in the rules on carbon pollution – an overhaul she said would help, not hinder, economic progress.

Aquafornia news Sierra Sun

Report: Sierra Nevada forest health in rapid decline

A report released this week shows that many Sierra Nevada forests are in critical condition, and that natural benefits they provide — such as clean air and water — are at risk from large, intense fire.

Aquafornia news U.S. Department of the Interior

News Release: New report predicts climate change will significantly impact California’s Central Valley

A new report released today [Sept. 22] by the Department of the Interior’s Deputy Secretary Michael L. Connor finds that projected changes in temperature and precipitation, combined with a growing population, will have significant impacts on water supplies, water quality, fish and wildlife habitats, ecosystems, hydropower, recreation and flood control, in California’s Central Valley this century.


Overcoming the Deluge: California’s Plan for Managing Floods (DVD)

This 30-minute documentary, produced in 2011, explores the past, present and future of flood management in California’s Central Valley. It features stories from residents who have experienced the devastating effects of a California flood firsthand. Interviews with long-time Central Valley water experts from California Department of Water Resources (FloodSAFE), U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Bureau of Reclamation, Central Valley Flood Management Program and environmental groups are featured as they discuss current efforts to improve the state’s 150-year old flood protection system and develop a sustainable, integrated, holistic flood management plan for the Central Valley.


A Climate of Change: Water Adaptation Strategies

This 25-minute documentary-style DVD, developed in partnership with the California Department of Water Resources, provides an excellent overview of climate change and how it is already affecting California. The DVD also explains what scientists anticipate in the future related to sea level rise and precipitation/runoff changes and explores the efforts that are underway to plan and adapt to climate.


Stormwater Management: Turning Runoff into a Resource

20-minute DVD that explains the problem with polluted stormwater, and steps that can be taken to help prevent such pollution and turn what is often viewed as a “nuisance” into a water resource through various activities.


Water on the Edge (60-minute DVD)

Water truly has shaped California into the great state it is today. And if it is water that made California great, it’s the fight over – and with – water that also makes it so critically important. In efforts to remap California’s circulatory system, there have been some critical events that had a profound impact on California’s water history. These turning points not only forced a re-evaluation of water, but continue to impact the lives of every Californian. This 2005 PBS documentary offers a historical and current look at the major water issues that shaped the state we know today. Includes a 12-page viewer’s guide with background information, historic timeline and a teacher’s lesson.

Maps & Posters

Water Cycle Poster

Water as a renewable resource is depicted in this 18×24 inch poster. Water is renewed again and again by the natural hydrologic cycle where water evaporates, transpires from plants, rises to form clouds, and returns to the earth as precipitation. Excellent for elementary school classroom use.

Maps & Posters Colorado River Bundle

Colorado River Basin Map
Redesigned in 2017

Redesigned in 2017, this beautiful map depicts the seven Western states that share the Colorado River with Mexico. The Colorado River supplies water to nearly 40 million people in Arizona, California, Colorado, Nevada, New Mexico, Utah, Wyoming and the country of Mexico. Text on this beautiful, 24×36-inch map, which is suitable for framing, explains the river’s apportionment, history and the need to adapt its management for urban growth and expected climate change impacts.


Layperson’s Guide to Water Rights Law
Updated 2020

The 28-page Layperson’s Guide to Water Rights Law, recognized as the most thorough explanation of California water rights law available to non-lawyers, traces the authority for water flowing in a stream or reservoir, from a faucet or into an irrigation ditch through the complex web of California water rights.


Layperson’s Guide to the State Water Project
Updated 2013

The 24-page Layperson’s Guide to the State Water Project provides an overview of the California-funded and constructed State Water Project.


Layperson’s Guide to Integrated Regional Water Management
Published 2013

The 24-page Layperson’s Guide to Integrated Regional Water Management (IRWM) is an in-depth, easy-to-understand publication that provides background information on the principles of IRWM, its funding history and how it differs from the traditional water management approach.


Layperson’s Guide to the Colorado River
Updated 2018

Cover page for the Layperson's Guide to the Colorado River .

The Colorado River provides water to 40 million people and 4 million acres of farmland in a region encompassing some 246,000 square miles in the southwestern United States. The 32-page Layperson’s Guide to the Colorado River covers the history of the river’s development; negotiations over division of its water; the items that comprise the Law of the River; and a chronology of significant Colorado River events.


Layperson’s Guide to the Central Valley Project
Updated 2021

The 24-page Layperson’s Guide to the Central Valley Project explores the history and development of the federal Central Valley Project (CVP), California’s largest surface water delivery system. In addition to the project’s history, the guide describes the various CVP facilities, CVP operations, the benefits the CVP brought to the state and the CVP Improvement Act (CVPIA).


Layperson’s Guide to the Delta
Updated 2020

The 24-page Layperson’s Guide to the Delta explores the competing uses and demands on California’s Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta. Included in the guide are sections on the history of the Delta, its role in the state’s water system, and its many complex issues with sections on water quality, levees, salinity and agricultural drainage, fish and wildlife, and water distribution.

Aquapedia background Layperson's Guide to Climate Change and Water Resources

Climate Change

California Department of Water Resources snow survey in the Sierra Nevada.

Climate change involves natural and man-made changes to weather patterns that occur over millions of years or over multiple decades.

In the past 150 years, human industrial activity has accelerated the rate of change in the climate due to the increase in greenhouse gases (carbon dioxide, methane and nitrous oxide, among others). Scientific studies describing this climate change continue to be produced and its expected impacts continue to be assessed.

Western Water Magazine

Overdrawn at the Bank: Managing California’s Groundwater
January/February 2014

This printed issue of Western Water looks at California groundwater and whether its sustainability can be assured by local, regional and state management. For more background information on groundwater please refer to the Founda­tion’s Layperson’s Guide to Groundwater.

Western Water Magazine

Two States, One Lake: Keeping Lake Tahoe Blue
September/October 2013

This printed issue of Western Water discusses some of the issues associated with the effort to preserve and restore the clarity of Lake Tahoe.

Western Water Magazine

Adjusting to the New Reality: Climate Change in the West
July/August 2013

This printed issue of Western Water This issue of Western Water looks at climate change through the lens of some of the latest scientific research and responses from experts regarding mitigation and adaptation.

Western Water Magazine

Meeting the Co-equal Goals? The Bay Delta Conservation Plan
May/June 2013

This issue of Western Water looks at the BDCP and the Coalition to Support Delta Projects, issues that are aimed at improving the health and safety of the Delta while solidifying California’s long-term water supply reliability.

Western Water Magazine

Viewing Water with a Wide Angle Lens: A Roundtable Discussion
January/February 2013

This printed issue of Western Water features a roundtable discussion with Anthony Saracino, a water resources consultant; Martha Davis, executive manager of policy development with the Inland Empire Utilities Agency and senior policy advisor to the Delta Stewardship Council; Stuart Leavenworth, editorial page editor of The Sacramento Bee and Ellen Hanak, co-director of research and senior fellow at the Public Policy Institute of California.

Western Water Magazine

How Much Water Does the Delta Need?
July/August 2012

This printed issue of Western Water examines the issues associated with the State Water Board’s proposed revision of the water quality Bay-Delta Plan, most notably the question of whether additional flows are needed for the system, and how they might be provided.

Western Water Magazine

Solving the Colorado River Basin’s Math Problem: Adapting to Change
November/December 2011

This printed issue of Western Water explores the historic nature of some of the key agreements in recent years, future challenges, and what leading state representatives identify as potential “worst-case scenarios.” Much of the content for this issue of Western Water came from the in-depth panel discussions at the Colorado River Symposium. The Foundation will publish the full proceedings of the Symposium in 2012.

Western Water Magazine

The Colorado River Drought: A Sobering Glimpse into the Future
November/December 2010

This printed issue of Western Water examines the Colorado River drought, and the ongoing institutional and operational changes underway to maintain the system and meet the future challenges in the Colorado River Basin.

Western Water Magazine

Making the Connection: The Water/Energy Nexus
September/October 2010

This printed issue of Western Water looks at the energy requirements associated with water use and the means by which state and local agencies are working to increase their knowledge and improve the management of both resources.

Western Water Magazine

A Significant Challenge: Adapting Water Management to Climate Change
January/February 2008

This printed copy of Western Water examines climate change – what’s known about it, the remaining uncertainty and what steps water agencies are talking to prepare for its impact. Much of the information comes from the October 2007 California Climate Change and Water Adaptation Summit sponsored by the Water Education Foundation and DWR and the November 2007 California Water Policy Conference sponsored by Public Officials for Water and Environmental Reform.

Western Water Excerpt Gary PitzerRita Schmidt Sudman

A Significant Challenge: Adapting Water Management to Climate Change
January/February 2008

Perhaps no other issue has rocketed to prominence in such a short time as climate change. A decade ago, discussion about greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and the connection to warming temperatures was but a fraction of the attention now given to the issue. From the United Nations to local communities, people are talking about climate change – its characteristics and what steps need to be taken to mitigate and adapt to the anticipated impacts.

Western Water Magazine

An Inconvenient Future? Assessing the Impacts of Climate Change
September/October 2006

This issue of Western Water looks at climate change and its implications on water management in a region that is wholly dependent on steady, predictable wet seasons to recharge supplies for the lengthy dry periods. To what degree has climate change occurred and what are the scenarios under which impacts will have to be considered by water providers? The future is anything but clear.

Western Water Excerpt Gary PitzerRita Schmidt Sudman

An Inconvenient Future? Assessing the Impacts of Climate Change
Sept/Oct 2006

The inimitable Yogi Berra once proclaimed, “The future ain’t what it used to be.” While the Hall of Fame baseball player was not referring to the weather, his words are no less prophetic when it comes to the discussion of a changing climate and its potential impacts on water resources in the West.