Topic: Delta Issues

Overview

Delta Issues

The Delta has been embroiled in controversy about how to restore a faltering ecosystem while maintaining its role as the hub of the state’s water supply.

Issues include improving water system management, estuary health, conservation efforts to protect the endangered Delta smelt, levee fragility and the proposed twin tunnels, which will be put on a statewide ballot in the future.

Aquafornia news The Sacramento Bee

California’s Gavin Newsom keeps angering environmentalists

The word got out and the environmental lobby was quick to pounce: After years of silence on the issue, Gov. Gavin Newsom’s administration was reviving a controversial plan to burrow a tunnel beneath the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta, the fragile hub of California’s water-delivery system. Environmentalists said the tunnel would wreck the Delta, not fix it. Ailing fish populations would be driven further to extinction. The reworking of the Delta’s plumbing would leave Delta farmers with water too salty for raising grapes, tomatoes and other crops, they said.

Aquafornia news The New York Times

21,000 fish die in ‘catastrophic failure’ at California research center

About 21,000 fish at an aquatic research center at the University of California, Davis, died from chlorine exposure in what the university described as a “catastrophic failure” that had shocked researchers and would significantly delay their studies. The university said in a statement that it would investigate “where our process failed” and initiate an independent external review. … The fish were found dead on Tuesday in several tanks at the Center for Aquatic Biology and Aquaculture, which sits on five acres and is home to research programs that focus on sustaining California’s aquatic species and supporting sustainable aquaculture production, according to the center’s website.

Aquafornia news Los Angeles Times

Opinion: Newsom unveils less controversial river delta plan

The third attempt could be the charm for repairing California’s main waterworks, the Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta. On paper at least, the latest plan by a governor to upgrade the delta into a more reliable state water supply seems to make much more sense than what his predecessors promoted. Gov. Gavin Newsom’s single-tunnel proposal is smaller and more respectful of the bucolic estuary’s small farms, waterfowl habitat, unique recreational boating and historic tiny communities. So, it’s potentially less controversial. But it still can legitimately be labeled a Los Angeles and corporate agriculture “water grab.”
-Written by LA Times columnist George Skelton.

Aquafornia news Ceres Courier

Editorial: Sacramento’s tunnel vision will destroy Delta, make fat cat hedge fund farmers richer

Tulare Lake. Gone. Owens Lake. On a resuscitator but near death. Mono Lake: Its life hangs in the balance. They  — and many more California lakes and rivers — were the victim of defying Mother Nature and sucking massive amounts of water from one basin to another. Bypassing a massive amount of water from the Delta ecological system by tunneling under it — what could possibly go wrong? It is why the recent latest reincarnation of Los Angeles’ not-to-secret plan to destroy the Delta along with their partners-in-crime on the western side of Kern County is pure tunnel vision.

Related articles: 

Aquafornia news Porterville Recorder

Republicans send letter expressing ‘grave concerns’ over reconsideration of water policy

On Monday, Republican members of Congress continued their fight when it comes to the biological opinions that help determine water deliveries from the federal Central Valley Project and State Water Project, sending a letter to Secretary of the Interior Deb Haaland expressing their “grave concerns” over the process to reconsider those biological opinions. The California Republican Congressional delegation said the reconsultation process of 2019 biological opinions developed by the Trump administration will decrease the amount of water delivered to the San Joaquin Valley.

Related article: 

Aquafornia news UC Davis

Blog: Peter Moyle – Fish by fish, bird by bird

Peter Moyle is widely considered the “godfather of California fish biology.” The UC Davis professor emeritus has been conducting native fish surveys here for more than 50 years. He also played a major role in restoring Yolo County’s beloved local stream, Putah Creek. His work sounded alarm bells about native fish, including the endangered Delta smelt — a nearly extinct icon of California’s water woes. Unfortunately, the bells keep ringing: 80% of native fish have declined in the state since he first began studying them. 

Aquafornia news CalMatters

Opinion: Old issue plagues Newsom’s Delta tunnel project

Four-plus decades ago, when a young governor named Jerry Brown, was advocating a “peripheral canal” to carry Sacramento River water around the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta, he argued that it would not only improve water deliveries but would stop the degradation of the Delta’s water quality. The latter contention initially attracted some positive attention from environmental groups which were complaining that pulling water directly out of the Delta for shipment to San Joaquin Valley farms and Southern California’s homes had upset flows that were vital to healthy fish populations.
-Written by CalMatters columnist Dan Walters.

Aquafornia news Associated Press

In dry California, salty water creeps into key waterways

Charlie Hamilton hasn’t irrigated his vineyards with water from the Sacramento River since early May, even though it flows just yards from his crop. Nearby to the south, the industrial Bay Area city of Antioch has supplied its people with water from the San Joaquin River for just 32 days this year, compared to roughly 128 days by this time in a wet year. They may be close by, but these two rivers, central arms of California’s water system, have become too salty to use in some places as the state’s punishing drought drags on. 

Aquafornia news KCRA - Sacramento

Democratic lawmakers representing Delta-area urge Gov. Newsom to cancel Delta tunnel plan

California lawmakers representing the state’s Delta area are calling for Gov. Gavin Newsom to cancel his plan for an underground tunnel that would reroute water from Northern to Southern California. Representatives John Garamendi, Josh Harder, Jerry McNerney and Mike Thompson, all Democrats, released a joint statement in response to the draft environmental impact report for the project.

Related articles:

Aquafornia news California Department of Water Resources

Blog: A Summer of (Eco)Restoration

Summer 2022 is a season of ecological restoration for the Department of Water Resources (DWR). From June 23 to July 14, 2022, DWR and partners celebrated four multi-benefit restoration projects taking place in California’s Central Valley including the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta (Delta), Suisun Marsh, and Yolo Bypass region. Each of these projects have the capacity to deliver multiple benefits that include habitat restoration, supporting endangered species, flood risk reduction, or public access.

Aquafornia news Nossaman LLP

Blog: Draft EIR released for Delta Conveyance project

A key priority of the Newsom Administration – the Delta Conveyance Project – has officially entered its next chapter. On July 22, the Department of Water Resources (DWR) released its draft environmental impact report (Draft EIR) for the Delta Conveyance Project. The Delta Conveyance Project is DWR’s and Governor Newsom’s plan to build an underground tunnel to bring water from the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta to the State Water Project pumps near Tracy in order to reduce the risk from earthquakes and climate change to the State’s water supplies.

Related article: 

Aquafornia news California WaterBlog

Blog: The Great Lakes and invasive species

This week’s CaliforniaWaterBlog post is an excerpt (Box 1) from a recent Delta Independent Science Board report on non-native species and the California Delta.  This excerpt summarizes the experience of the Great Lakes, and how its physical and ecological management has led to waves of profoundly disruptive species invasions, resulting in a sequence of “novel” ecosystems.  This sequence of invasions seems likely to continue to shape the Great Lakes.  This history is a wake-up and warning for policymakers and those working on California’s Delta. 

Aquafornia news CalMatters

Opinion: Can Newsom finally win long Delta water conflict?

Will the fifth time be the charm for California’s decades-long effort to replumb the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta so that more Northern California water can be transported to Southern California? Don’t count on it. Last week, the state Department of Water Resources released a draft environmental impact report on the latest iteration of the 57-year-long effort to change the Delta’s role in water supply, a 45-mile-long tunnel officially named the “Delta Conveyance.” The 3,000-page document immediately drew the responses that have accompanied past versions — big municipal and agricultural water agencies were in favor of it because it would, they hope, increase water deliveries south of the Delta, and environmentalists were against it, saying it would further damage the Delta’s already bruised ecosystem.
-Written by Dan Walters, columnist for CalMatters.

Related article: 

Aquafornia news The Sacramento Bee

Thursday Top of the Scroll: California revives Delta tunnel project for water deliveries

Here we go again. Gov. Gavin Newsom’s administration revived the Delta tunnel project Wednesday, unveiling a downsized version of the controversial, multibillion-dollar plan to re-engineer the fragile estuary on Sacramento’s doorstep that serves as the hub of California’s over-stressed water-delivery network. After three years with little to no public activity, the state released an environmental blueprint for what’s now called the Delta Conveyance — a 45-mile tunnel that would divert water from the Sacramento River and route it under the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta so that it can be shipped to farms and cities hundreds of miles away.

Related articles: 

Aquafornia news California Water Research

Blog: Delta ISB review of Delta tunnel project proceeding under huge time pressure

On June 8, 2022, DWR’s Director, Karla Nemeth, made a presentation on the Delta tunnel project to the Delta Independent Science Board (Delta ISB), with several of the scientists who had worked on the project. She said that she supported the Delta ISB’s review of the project. But unlike the twin tunnels project, the Department of Water Resources did not release the Administrative Draft EIR for the single tunnel. DWR is instead planning for the Delta ISB to review the new project for the first time during the CEQA comment period on the Draft Delta Conveyance EIR, which could be as short as 90 days.

Aquafornia news Daily Kos

Blog: CA DWR to release draft environmental impact report for Delta tunnel this week

The California Department of Water Resources has announced that it will be releasing their Draft Environmental Impact Report (DEIR) early this week for the Delta Conveyance Project, AKA the embattled Delta Tunnel. Documents for federal review of the project will be released later this fall. … The changes in the plans include changes to the intakes, the tunnel itself, the power lines, the route and the operations, according to DWR. Here are some of the highlights of the proposed changes: 

Aquafornia news SJV Sun

California policies choking off water from Valley hasn’t been savior for fish, report finds

A new policy brief from the Public Policy Institute of California is recommending cost-effective water storage investments as the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta is seeing less inflow. It also offers a damning picture of the thirty-year shift in how the Golden State divvied up water, largely pitting fish species against millions of its residents. The institute – a nonpartisan think tank – initially published the brief in early spring, focuses on the Delta that supplies water to about 30 million residents and over six million acres of farmland. 

Aquafornia news Restore the Delta

Blog: Delta flows - Failed drought planning for the Delta 

Yesterday, Restore the Delta sent the following scoping comment letter to the Army Corps of Engineers in response to a “Dredge and Fill (404) Application from California Department of Water Resources (DWR) to construct North Delta Drought Salinity Barriers Project.” DWR proposes in its application to add two more temporary rock fill barriers along Steamboat and Miner sloughs in the North Delta intending to prevent intrusion of high-salinity tidal waters into the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta should critical drought conditions persist into 2023 and beyond.

Aquafornia news Maven's Notebook

Five questions: Jon Rosenfield, Senior Scientist at the Baykeeper and longtime Delta scientist

After completing degrees from Cornell University, University of Michigan, and the University of New Mexico, Dr. Jon Rosenfield returned to the Bay Area in 2002, where he worked as a postdoctoral researcher in the laboratory of Dr. Peter Moyle.  He researches and is a tireless advocate for the Central Valley’s native salmon, steelhead, and smelt species. Dr. Rosenfield went on to The Bay Institute where he worked for over ten years to protect fisheries, becoming one of the region’s leading experts on the importance of freshwater flows from the Delta for the sustainability of the Bay’s ecosystem and fish populations.  

Aquafornia news The Sacramento Bee

Nutria numbers are declining with California killing program

California may be winning its five-year, $13 million battle with nutria — the 20-pound, orange-toothed swamp rodents that biologists once feared would play hell with wetlands, flood-control levees and the state’s water-delivery system. … [Valerie Cook, who runs the Department of Fish and Wildlife’s nutria eradication program] said her team is seeing nutria numbers declining, and they’ve managed to keep them out of the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta, California’s most important waterway. Scientists who deal with invasive pests were first alarmed when nutria — a beagle-sized rodent native to the wetlands of South America — were spotted in a private duck-hunting marsh in the spring of 2017 near the farming community of Gustine in Merced County.

Aquafornia news KCRA - Sacramento

California officials study drought benefits of salinity barrier

On Monday, California’s Department of Water Resources (DWR) released a draft Environmental Impacts Report, which looked into the benefits and potential negative impacts of repeated use of a temporary drought salinity barrier in the delta. This drought barrier is in the West False River. It is a wall of earth that helps to keep salt water from the Bay Area from infiltrating into the freshwater delta system during times of severe drought…. If the delta were to become contaminated with saltwater, millions would lose access to fresh drinking water, including farmers, who rely on the delta for irrigation.

Related article: 

Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta Map
Published March 2021

Delta Map for the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta

This beautifully illustrated 24×36-inch poster, suitable for framing and display in any office or classroom, highlights the Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta, its place as a center of farming, its importance as an ecological resource and its vital role in California’s water supply system. 

The text, photos and graphics explain issues related to land subsidence, levees and flooding, urbanization, farming, fish and wildlife protection. An inset map illustrates the tidal action that increases the salinity of the Delta’s waterways. 

Foundation Event

Water 101 Workshop: The Basics and Beyond
Virtual Workshop Occurred Afternoons of April 22-23

Our Water 101 Workshop, one of our most popular events, offered attendees the opportunity to deepen their understanding of California’s water history, laws, geography and politics.

Taught by some of the leading policy and legal experts in the state, the workshop was held as an engaging online event on the afternoons of Thursday, April 22 and Friday, April 23.

Western Water Water Education Foundation

ON THE ROAD: Cosumnes River Preserve Offers Visitors a Peek at What the Central Valley Once Looked Like
Preserve at the edge of Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta includes valley oak forests and wintering grounds for cranes

Sandhill cranes gather at the Cosumnes River Preserve south of Sacramento.Deep, throaty cadenced calls — sounding like an off-key bassoon — echo over the grasslands, farmers’ fields and wetlands starting in late September of each year. They mark the annual return of sandhill cranes to the Cosumnes River Preserve, 46,000 acres located 20 miles south of Sacramento on the edge of the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta.

Foundation Event University of the Pacific, McGeorge School of Law Jenn Bowles Nick Gray

Water 101 Workshop: The Basics and Beyond

The Water Education Foundation’s Water 101 Workshop, one of our most popular events, offered attendees the opportunity to deepen their understanding of California’s water history, laws, geography and politics.

Taught by some of the leading policy and legal experts in the state, the one-day workshop held on Feb. 20, 2020 covered the latest on the most compelling issues in California water. 

McGeorge School of Law
3327 5th Ave.
Sacramento, CA 95817
Announcement

Registration Now Open for the 36th Annual Water Summit; Take Advantage of Early Bird Discount by Registering Today
Join us Oct. 30 for key conversations on water in California and the West

Registration opens today for the Water Education Foundation’s 36th annual Water Summit, set for Oct. 30 in Sacramento. This year’s theme, Water Year 2020: A Year of Reckoning, reflects fast-approaching deadlines for the State Groundwater Management Act as well as the pressing need for new approaches to water management as California and the West weather intensified flooding, fire and drought. To register for this can’t-miss event, visit our Water Summit event page.

Registration includes a full day of discussions by leading stakeholders and policymakers on key issues, as well as coffee, materials, gourmet lunch and an outdoor reception by the Sacramento River that will offer the opportunity to network with speakers and other attendees. The summit also features a silent auction to benefit our Water Leaders program featuring items up for bid such as kayaking trips, hotel stays and lunches with key people in the water world.

Announcement

2019 Water Summit Theme Announced – Water Year 2020: A Year of Reckoning
Join us October 30 in Sacramento for our premier annual event

Sacramento RiverOur 36th annual Water Summit, happening Oct. 30 in Sacramento, will feature the theme “Water Year 2020: A Year of Reckoning,” reflecting upcoming regulatory deadlines and efforts to improve water management and policy in the face of natural disasters.

The Summit will feature top policymakers and leading stakeholders providing the latest information and a variety of viewpoints on issues affecting water across California and the West.

Western Water California Water Map Gary Pitzer

California’s New Natural Resources Secretary Takes on Challenge of Implementing Gov. Newsom’s Ambitious Water Agenda
WESTERN WATER Q&A: Wade Crowfoot addresses Delta tunnel shift, Salton Sea plan and managing water amid a legacy of conflict

Wade Crowfoot, California Natural Resources Secretary.One of California Gov. Gavin Newsom’s first actions after taking office was to appoint Wade Crowfoot as Natural Resources Agency secretary. Then, within weeks, the governor laid out an ambitious water agenda that Crowfoot, 45, is now charged with executing.

That agenda includes the governor’s desire for a “fresh approach” on water, scaling back the conveyance plan in the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta and calling for more water recycling, expanded floodplains in the Central Valley and more groundwater recharge.

Western Water Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta Map Gary Pitzer

Bruce Babbitt Urges Creation of Bay-Delta Compact as Way to End ‘Culture of Conflict’ in California’s Key Water Hub
WESTERN WATER NOTEBOOK: Former Interior secretary says Colorado River Compact is a model for achieving peace and addressing environmental and water needs in the Delta

Former Interior Secretary Bruce Babbitt gives the Anne J. Schneider Lecture April 3 at Sacramento's Crocker Art Museum.  Bruce Babbitt, the former Arizona governor and secretary of the Interior, has been a thoughtful, provocative and sometimes forceful voice in some of the most high-profile water conflicts over the last 40 years, including groundwater management in Arizona and the reduction of California’s take of the Colorado River. In 2016, former California Gov. Jerry Brown named Babbitt as a special adviser to work on matters relating to the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta and the Delta tunnels plan.

Western Water California Water Map Layperson's Guide to the State Water Project Gary Pitzer

As He Steps Aside, Tim Quinn Talks About ‘Adversarialists,’ Collaboration and Hope For Solving the State’s Tough Water Issues
WESTERN WATER Q&A: Tim Quinn, retiring executive director of Association of California Water Agencies

ACWA Executive Director Tim Quinn  with a report produced by Association of California Water Agencies on  sustainable groundwater management.  (Source:  Association of California Water Agencies)In the universe of California water, Tim Quinn is a professor emeritus. Quinn has seen — and been a key player in — a lot of major California water issues since he began his water career 40 years ago as a young economist with the Rand Corporation, then later as deputy general manager with the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California, and finally as executive director of the Association of California Water Agencies. In December, the 66-year-old will retire from ACWA.

Water 101 Workshop: The Basics and Beyond
One-day workshop included optional groundwater tour

One of our most popular events, our annual Water 101 Workshop details the history, geography, legal and political facets of water in California as well as hot topics currently facing the state.

Taught by some of the leading policy and legal experts in the state, the one-day workshop on Feb. 7 gave attendees a deeper understanding of the state’s most precious natural resources.

 Optional Groundwater Tour

On Feb. 8, we jumped aboard a bus to explore groundwater, a key resource in California. Led by Foundation staff and groundwater experts Thomas Harter and Carl Hauge, retired DWR chief hydrogeologist, the tour visited cities and farms using groundwater, examined a subsidence measuring station and provided the latest updates on the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act.

McGeorge School of Law
3327 5th Ave.
Sacramento, CA 95817
Western Water Douglas E. Beeman Douglas E. Beeman

What Would You Do About Water If You Were California’s Next Governor?
WESTERN WATER NOTEBOOK: Survey at Foundation’s Sept. 20 Water Summit elicits a long and wide-ranging potential to-do list

There’s going to be a new governor in California next year – and a host of challenges both old and new involving the state’s most vital natural resource, water.

So what should be the next governor’s water priorities?

That was one of the questions put to more than 150 participants during a wrap-up session at the end of the Water Education Foundation’s Sept. 20 Water Summit in Sacramento.

Western Water Colorado River Basin Map California Water Map Gary Pitzer

Despite Risk of Unprecedented Shortage on the Colorado River, Reclamation Commissioner Sees Room for Optimism
WESTERN WATER NOTEBOOK: Commissioner Brenda Burman, in address at Foundation’s Water Summit, also highlights Shasta Dam plan

Bureau of Reclamation Commissioner Brenda BurmanThe Colorado River Basin is more than likely headed to unprecedented shortage in 2020 that could force supply cuts to some states, but work is “furiously” underway to reduce the risk and avert a crisis, Bureau of Reclamation Commissioner Brenda Burman told an audience of California water industry people.

During a keynote address at the Water Education Foundation’s Sept. 20 Water Summit in Sacramento, Burman said there is opportunity for Colorado River Basin states to control their destiny, but acknowledged that in water, there are no guarantees that agreement can be reached.

Western Water California Water Map Gary Pitzer

When Water Worries Often Pit Farms vs. Fish, a Sacramento Valley Farm Is Trying To Address The Needs Of Both
WESTERN WATER SPOTLIGHT: River Garden Farms is piloting projects that could add habitat and food to aid Sacramento River salmon

Roger Cornwell, general manager of River Garden Farms, with an example of a refuge like the ones that were lowered into the Sacramento River at Redding to shelter juvenile salmon.  Farmers in the Central Valley are broiling about California’s plan to increase flows in the Sacramento and San Joaquin river systems to help struggling salmon runs avoid extinction. But in one corner of the fertile breadbasket, River Garden Farms is taking part in some extraordinary efforts to provide the embattled fish with refuge from predators and enough food to eat.

And while there is no direct benefit to one farm’s voluntary actions, the belief is what’s good for the fish is good for the farmers.

Announcement

Annual Water Summit to Focus on Critical Issues from the Headwaters to the Delta
Registration now open for Sept. 20th event in Sacramento; some sponsorship opportunities still available

Our annual Water Summit, being held Sept. 20, will feature critical conversations about water in California and the West revolving around the theme: Facing Reality from the Headwaters to the Delta. 

As debate continues to swirl around longer-term remedies for California’s water challenges, the theme reflects the need for straightforward dialogue about more immediate, on-the-ground solutions.

Announcement

Reclamation Commissioner Brenda Burman to be Keynote Speaker at Water Summit
Registration now open for Sept. 20th event in Sacramento

Reclamation Commissioner Brenda BurmanBrenda Burman, commissioner of the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation, will give the keynote lunch address at our 35th annual conference, the Water Summit, to be held Sept. 20 in Sacramento.

The daylong event will feature critical conversations about water in California and the West revolving around the theme: Facing Reality from the Headwaters to the Delta.

Western Water Space Invaders Gary Pitzer

It’s Not Just Nutria — Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta has 185 Invasive Species, But Tracking Them is Uneven
WESTERN WATER NOTEBOOK: Delta science panel urges greater coordination, funding of invasive species monitoring

Water hyacinth choke a channel in the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta.For more than 100 years, invasive species have made the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta their home, disrupting the ecosystem and costing millions of dollars annually in remediation.

The latest invader is the nutria, a large rodent native to South America that causes concern because of its propensity to devour every bit of vegetation in sight and destabilize levees by burrowing into them. Wildlife officials are trapping the animal and trying to learn the extent of its infestation.

Western Water Water Education Foundation

ON THE ROAD: Cosumnes River Preserve Offers Visitors a Peek at What the Central Valley Once Looked Like
Preserve at the edge of Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta includes valley oak forests and wintering grounds for cranes

Sandhill cranes gather at the Cosumnes River Preserve south of Sacramento.Deep, throaty cadenced calls — sounding like an off-key bassoon — echo over the grasslands, farmers’ fields and wetlands starting in late September of each year. They mark the annual return of sandhill cranes to the Cosumnes River Preserve, 46,000 acres located 20 miles south of Sacramento on the edge of the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta.

Foundation Event University of the Pacific, McGeorge School of Law

Water 101 Workshop: The Basics and Beyond
Event included optional Delta Tour

One of our most popular events, Water 101 details the history, geography, legal and political facets of water in California as well as hot topics currently facing the state.

Taught by some of the leading policy and legal experts in the state, the one-day workshop gives attendees a deeper understanding of the state’s most precious natural resource.

McGeorge School of Law
3285 5th Ave, Classroom C
Sacramento, CA 95817
Western Water Layperson's Guide to Water Rights Law Gary Pitzer

Does California’s Environment Deserve its Own Water Right?
IN-DEPTH: Fisheries and wildlife face growing challenges, but so do water systems competing for limited supply. Is there room for an environmental water right?

Sunset in Sacramento-San Joaquin DeltaDoes California need to revamp the way in which water is dedicated to the environment to better protect fish and the ecosystem at large? In the hypersensitive world of California water, where differences over who gets what can result in epic legislative and legal battles, the idea sparks a combination of fear, uncertainty and promise.

Saying that the way California manages water for the environment “isn’t working for anyone,” the Public Policy Institute of California (PPIC) shook things up late last year by proposing a redesigned regulatory system featuring what they described as water ecosystem plans and water budgets with allocations set aside for the environment.

Announcement

Deepen Your Knowledge of California Water and Visit the Delta
Popular Water 101 Workshop includes optional one-day Delta Tour

Deepen your knowledge of California water issues at our popular Water 101 Workshop and jump aboard the bus the next day to visit the  Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta, a 720,000-acre network of islands and canals that supports the state’s water system and is California’s most crucial water and ecological resource.

Western Water Magazine

CALFED at a Crossroads: A Decade of the Bay-Delta Program
March/April 2005

This issue of Western Water discusses the CALFED Bay-Delta Program and what the future holds as it enters a crucial period. From its continued political viability to the advancement of best available science and the challenges of fulfilling the ROD, the near future will feature a lively discussion that will play a significant role in the program’s future.

Western Water Magazine

Developing a Delta Vision
May/June 2006

This issue of Western Water examines the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta as it stands today and the efforts by government agencies, policy experts, elected officials and the public at large to craft a vision for a sustainable future.

Western Water Magazine

Building a Delta Vision: A Roundtable Discussion
January/February 2007

There are multiple Delta Vision processes underway and a decision on the future of the Delta will be made in the next two years. Unlike past planning efforts that focused primarily on water resource issues and the ecosystem, these current efforts are expanding to include land use planning, recreation, flood management, and energy, rail and transportation infrastructure. How – or if – all these competing demands can be accommodated is the question being considered.

Western Water Magazine

Finding a Vision for the Delta
March/April 2008

This printed copy of Western Water examines the Delta through the many ongoing activities focusing on it, most notably the Delta Vision process. Many hours of testimony, research, legal proceedings, public hearings and discussion have occurred and will continue as the state seeks the ultimate solution to the problems tied to the Delta.

Western Water Magazine

Delta Conveyance: The Debate Continues
March/April 2009

This printed issue of Western Water provides an overview of the idea of a dual conveyance facility, including questions surrounding its cost, operation and governance

Western Water Magazine

Changing the Status Quo: The 2009 Water Package
January/February 2010

This printed issue of Western Water looks at some of the pieces of the 2009 water legislation, including the Delta Stewardship Council, the new requirements for groundwater monitoring and the proposed water bond.

Western Water Magazine

Making the Connection: Sound Science and Good Delta Policy
July/August 2011

This printed issue of Western Water examines science – the answers it can provide to help guide management decisions in the Delta and the inherent uncertainty it holds that can make moving forward such a tenuous task.

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

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

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.

Video

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.

Publication

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.

Publication

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).

Western Water Excerpt Gary PitzerRita Schmidt Sudman

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

The San Francisco Bay/Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta ecosystem needs freshwater to survive. How much water and where it comes from is a longstanding debate that is flaring up as the state embarks on an updated water quality plan for the Bay-Delta.

Aquapedia background

Delta Plan

The Delta Plan is a comprehensive management plan for the Sacramento San Joaquin Delta intended to help the state meet the coequal goals of water reliability and ecosystem restoration.

The Delta Stewardship Council, which oversees the Delta Plan, adopted a final version in May 2013 after three years of study and public meetings. Once completed, the Bay Delta Conservation Plan could be incorporated into the Delta Plan.

Photo gallery

Images from the Bay-Delta tour

Video

Delta Warning

15-minute DVD that graphically portrays the potential disaster should a major earthquake hit the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta. “Delta Warning” depicts what would happen in the event of an earthquake registering 6.5 on the Richter scale: 30 levee breaks, 16 flooded islands and a 300 billion gallon intrusion of salt water from the Bay – the “big gulp” – which would shut down the State Water Project and Central Valley Project pumping plants.

Video

Shaping of the West: 100 Years of Reclamation

30-minute DVD that traces the history of the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation and its role in the development of the West. Includes extensive historic footage of farming and the construction of dams and other water projects, and discusses historic and modern day issues.

Video

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

Invasive Species Poster Set

One copy of the Space Invaders and one copy of the Unwelcome Visitors poster for a special price.

Maps & Posters

Unwelcome Visitors

This 24×36 inch poster, suitable for framing, explains how non-native invasive animals can alter the natural ecosystem, leading to the demise of native animals. “Unwelcome Visitors” features photos and information on four such species – including the zerbra mussel – and explains the environmental and economic threats posed by these species.

Maps & Posters

Space Invaders

This 24×36 inch poster, suitable for framing, explains how non-native invasive plants can alter the natural ecosystem, leading to the demise of native plants and animals. “Space Invaders” features photos and information on six non-native plants that have caused widespread problems in the Bay-Delta Estuary and elsewhere.

Publication

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.

Publication

Layperson’s Guide to California Water
Updated 2021

The 24-page Layperson’s Guide to California Water provides an excellent overview of the history of water development and use in California. It includes sections on flood management; the state, federal and Colorado River delivery systems; Delta issues; water rights; environmental issues; water quality; and options for stretching the water supply such as water marketing and conjunctive use. New in this 10th edition of the guide is a section on the human need for water. 

Video KBPS San Diego

Will New Water Delivery System End Water Wars?

Will New Water Delivery System End Water Wars?

Rita Schmidt Sudman, executive director of The Water Education Foundation, and Tom Wornham, vice chairman of the San Diego County Water Authority.

Video Water Education Foundation

Setting a Course: The California Bay Delta
60 minute version

The importance of the San Francisco Bay/Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta to all Californians from Redding to San Diego is the theme of this 60-minute program hosted by actor Timothy Busfield of “thirtysomething.” Produced in 1998 and updated in 1999, the program is designed to teach the public about where and what the Delta is, its importance to farms, cities and the environment, the history of its development and the options now being discussed by CALFED – the joint state-federal government effort to solve water supply and environmental issues.

Aquapedia background

Judge Wanger Rulings

Federal Judge Oliver Wanger overturned a federal scientific study that aimed to protect Delta smelt in the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta.

Maps & Posters California Water Bundle

California Water Map
Updated December 2016

A new look for our most popular product! And it’s the perfect gift for the water wonk in your life.

Our 24×36 inch California Water Map is widely known for being the definitive poster that shows the integral role water plays in the state. On this updated version, it is easier to see California’s natural waterways and man-made reservoirs and aqueducts – including federally, state and locally funded projects – the wild and scenic rivers system, and natural lakes. The map features beautiful photos of California’s natural environment, rivers, water projects, wildlife, and urban and agricultural uses and the text focuses on key issues: water supply, water use, water projects, the Delta, wild and scenic rivers and the Colorado River.

Aquapedia background

Delta Risk Management Strategy

Delta Risk Management Strategy

Overseen by the California Department of Water Resources, California Department of Fish and Wildlife and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, the Delta Risk Management Strategy evaluated the sustainability of the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta and assessed major risks from floods, seepage, subsidence and earthquakes, sea level rise and climate change.

Western Water Excerpt Gary PitzerRita Schmidt Sudman

Delta Conveyance: The Debate Continues
March/April 2009

The critical condition of the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta has prompted the question of how it can continue to serve as a source of water for 25 million people while remaining a viable ecosystem, agricultural community and growing residential center. Developing a “dual conveyance” system of continuing to use Delta waterways to convey water to the export pumps but also building a new pipeline or canal to move some water supplies around the Delta is an issue of great scrutiny.

Western Water Excerpt Gary PitzerRita Schmidt Sudman

Finding a Vision for the Delta
March/April 2008

Consider the array of problems facing the Sacramento- San Joaquin Delta for too long and the effect can be nearly overwhelming. Permanently altered more than a century ago, the estuary - arguably the only one of its kind – is an enigma to those outside its realm, a region embroiled in difficulties that resist simple, ready-made solutions.