The San Francisco Bay (Bay) drains water from 40 percent of
California. This includes flows originating from the Sierra
Nevada mountain range and the Sacramento and San Joaquin rivers
that make their way down through Sacramento-San Joaquin Bay Delta
through the Bay to the Pacific Ocean.
The Bay is the largest harbor on the U.S. Pacific Coast and
covers about 400 square miles with an average depth of 14 feet.
Its deepest point is 360 feet at the Golden Gate.
Every year, more than 67 million tons of cargo pass through the
Golden Gate. The Bay also supports commercial bait shrimp,
herring and Dungeness crab fisheries.
The Bay is a vital estuary and a key link in the Pacific Flyway,
and millions of waterfowl use the shallow portions of the bay as
a refuge each year.
As Marin County water managers consider building a permanent
$100 million water pipeline across the Richmond-San Rafael
Bridge, a debate has arisen on how often it should actually be
used. The Marin Municipal Water District is leaning toward only
using the 8-mile pipeline if it faces a water shortage
emergency and only using the water for indoor health and safety
purposes, such as cooking and sanitation.
The winter season is officially upon us, and the rainy weather
has prompted Napa Valley’s vineyard crews to reinforce their
properties’ anti-erosion measures. While keeping your vineyard
from washing out is important for obvious practical reasons,
rain carrying sediment to the valley floor and into the
waterways negatively impacts the terroir as well. County
regulations require most vineyards to work with a civil
engineer and establish an Erosion Control Plan …
Autumnal rain has sent a surge of Chinook salmon swimming up
Bay Area creeks, a sharp reversal in fortune for an iconic
species that has struggled after years of drought. A living
link between our mountains and coast, the fish responded to
late October’s fierce atmospheric river by rushing up the
region’s once-parched rivers, say biologists, frequenting spots
where they’ve never been seen. … In recent years, populations
of Chinook, also known as king salmon, have collapsed with
astonishing speed — and even this current run is unlikely to
end well if more rain doesn’t come.
A drought-wary Napa County looking for ways to weather dry
spells has a small-but-not-insubstantial reservoir sitting
unused within its boundaries. Lake Curry, located in remote
southeastern Napa County near Gordon Valley, seems to be the
ugly duckling of the water world. Amid a state where water is
precious, it is the reservoir that no community is using to
slake its thirst. The Solano County city of Vallejo
created Lake Curry a century ago to hold 10,000-acre feet of
water and the lake is permitted by the state to provide
3,750-acre feet annually.
There’s no rain in sight for the San Francisco Bay Area in the
next 10 days, a concerning dry weather spell for a region
plagued by drought. While there are hints of a shift to
wetter and cooler conditions toward mid-December, some
experts say the forecast for rain doesn’t look
The San Francisco Public Utilities Commission is urging nearly
3 million water customers throughout the Bay Area to cut water
usage by 10%, as it declares a water shortage emergency due to
the ongoing drought. … By declaring the emergency, the agency
would be able to access water reserves and resources only
available during emergencies, officials said. Under the
measure, customers are urged to reduce water usage by 10%
compared to 2019-2020 levels…. Along with providing
water to San Francisco, the agency also has customers in
portions of Alameda, Santa Clara and San Mateo counties.
Faced with the need to reduce the demand on water supplies,
Marin County developers would have to pay thousands of dollars
in new fees, according to a proposal by the Marin Municipal
Water District. The Marin Independent Journal reported that the
water district’s board is considering a new measure which would
require future projects in its jurisdiction to have a net-zero
demand on reservoirs.
About 75,000 gallons of sewage spilled in San Rafael’s
Montecito and Happy Valley neighborhoods after a pipe backed
up, officials said Monday. The spill happened last week off
Highland Avenue above San Rafael High School. It is the latest
sewage spill believed to be linked to the atmospheric river
storm that battered the Bay Area on Oct. 24, according to the
California Regional Water Quality Control Board.
You may have seen it on social media or heard it while talking
to a friend: This is a La Niña year, so California won’t get
any rain this winter and the severe drought is only going to
get worse. Right? Maybe not. Although that’s a common
belief, it’s not supported by past history. The reality is that
a lot depends on where you live.
San Francisco’s robust water supply, long unruffled by the
severe dry spell now in its second year, has finally begun to
feel the pinch of drought, and city water managers are
recognizing it may be time to cut back. Officials at the San
Francisco Public Utilities Commission plan to ask city
residents and businesses to reduce water use by 5%, compared to
two years ago, and ask the more than two dozen communities that
buy water from the city to reduce water use nearly 14%….The
planned cutbacks are part of a water shortage emergency that
the SFPUC’s governing board is looking to declare at its
[Valley Water] remains focused on preparing for future wet and
dry years through a variety of projects and programs, including
the proposed expansion of Pacheco Reservoir in Southern Santa
Clara County. A partnership with the San Benito County Water
District and Pacheco Pass Water District, the project would
increase the reservoir’s capacity from 5,500 acre-feet to up to
140,000 acre-feet, enough water to supply up to 1.4 million
residents for one year during an emergency.
Developers in central and southern Marin County could be
required to pay tens of thousands of dollars in new fees or add
water-saving upgrades to their projects under a proposal to
reduce demand on water supplies. After facing the potential of
running out of water during the drought, the Marin Municipal
Water District board is considering requiring future projects
in its jurisdiction to have a net-zero demand on reservoirs.
California is likely to emerge from the winter with little
relief from drought, federal climate experts said Thursday,
setting the stage for a third year of dry weather and
continuing water shortages. The monthly climate report from the
National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration projects that
drought conditions will persist in almost all of California
through February. With the next three months historically the
state’s wettest, the opportunity for drought recovery is
Despite recent rain, California is still in the depths of a
drought. Conditions have improved, but barely. Most of the
state is still in exceptional or extreme drought. In the
South Bay, a million residents will soon be hit with the
toughest water restrictions of any major urban area in
California. Late Wednesday, the state PUC gave final
approval to San Jose Water Company’s plan. Approval
by state regulators means the call to cut water use is no
longer voluntary for South Bay residents.
Late Wednesday afternoon, the California Public Utilities
Commission gave final approval for San Jose Water Company to
put in place the first drought restrictions in its service area
since 2016, during California’s last major drought, and the
most stringent rules in any major city in California.
After two dry winters in a row, the Bay Area could see some
much-needed rain on Thursday night, though there may not be
much of it. A cold front is moving into the region from the
Northwest and Alaskan Basin on Thursday night and carry into
Friday morning but it won’t be a “particularly strong system,”
according to National Weather Service meteorologist Brayden
Murdock. Most locations could receive less than one tenth of an
inch of rain while coastal areas could see “heavier amounts,”
Advocates … argue that beavers play a key role in creating
healthy waterways and ecosystems. The role of beavers in the
recent storm is just one example of why advocates want to
reintroduce—and protect—beavers throughout the state. However,
under state law, beavers are considered a “detrimental species”
due in part to their dam-building, which can damage
agricultural land and flood human developments. They are
feared, and often killed, by landowners for this reason.
Hailed as a complex and historic step, Sonoma County
supervisors on Tuesday unanimously endorsed plans to guide use
and governance of groundwater relied on by rural residents,
farmers and cities. The plans, required by a 2014 state law
crafted amid California’s past drought, will eventually include
well water use fees in three basins underlying the Santa Rosa
Plain and Sonoma and Petaluma valleys.
Foster City has completed the first year of construction of its
Levee Improvement Project, a milestone for the major
infrastructure project being built to protect the city during
storms and high tides and from future sea level rise.
… The project also includes redevelopment and widening
of the Levee/Bay Trail, which will provide the community with
an enhanced, more inviting recreation destination. The overall
project timeline is from October 2020 through 2023. Measure P,
the $90 million general obligation bond for the project, was
overwhelmingly approved by voters in 2018.
Chinook salmon are back, baby! After a rush of cold-running
water brought by the atmospheric river in late October, Sonoma
Creek, along with other streams across the Bay Area, saw a
surge in flow giving Chinook, or king salmon, the perfect
conditions to make their way upstream from the Pacific.
The rolling hills and ranchlands of eastern Contra Costa County
are known for wineries, cattle ranches, wind turbines and
growing subdivisions. But soon they may be known for something
else: The biggest new water storage project in the Bay Area in
years. And now, amid the current drought, nearly every major
water agency in the region wants a piece of it.
On Oct. 27, the San Jose Planning Commission struck down
recommendations from city staff and the San Jose General Plan
Task Force to protect Coyote Valley from future development. I
cannot express how disappointing this vote was for me.
… Commercial development proposals for Coyote Valley are
rejected because they cause more wear and tear to our roads,
threaten our wildlife crossings, destroy native habitat and
endangered species and contaminate our groundwater. -Written by Assemblymember Ash Kalra,
representing the 27th Assembly District, which encompasses
approximately half of San Jose and includes all of
The Solano Irrigation District is anticipating having less
water – about 1 acre-foot per acre – to deliver to its
agriculture customers in 2022. The SID directors on Tuesday
will receive a presentation on the preliminary agriculture
water allocation for the new season. … Part of the issue, the
report states, is the district’s carryover supply is down, as
well as delivery needs to Maine Prairie during this past
After a spell of wet weather, the San Francisco Bay Area has
been bathed in sunshine over the past several days and
forecasters say the dry conditions could continue through
Thanksgiving with no rain in sight, the National Weather
Service said. This is discouraging news in a region struggling
with drought conditions, but weather service forecaster Ryan
Walbrun said the dry conditions are more typical for this time
of year than the moisture-rich storms that swept Northern
California in recent weeks.
Like so many places in Northern California, the recent rains
have really transformed things here along Alameda Creek. It is
putting on quite a show for the locals, and it’s a great
reminder of the importance of a project underway here just
below Niles Canyon. … Stop and watch the creek, and
it does not take long to spot them.
Homes of all sizes across Marin reflect investments incurred
over years to create and maintain yards that not only bring
homeowners great pleasure but, importantly, add property
value whether the property is small or large. If the Marin
Municipal Water District Board of Directors has its way, we are
alarmingly close to losing yards and greenery that are a core
part of the beauty of Marin. -Written by Rosy Rogers, of Larkspur, a writer and
editor who worked as a corporate marketing chief in the biotech
Around the U.S., cities are increasingly warming to an idea
that once induced gags: Sterilize wastewater from toilets,
sinks and factories, and eventually pipe it back into homes and
businesses as tap water. In the Los Angeles area, plans to
recycle wastewater for drinking are moving along with little
fanfare just two decades after similar efforts in the city
sparked such a backlash they had to be abandoned.
Calif.’s Department of Water Resources (DWR) today announced
its fourth round of funding through the Small Community Drought
Relief program. This fourth round will provide $25 million to
14 projects. DWR and the State Water Resources Control Board
identified the 14 projects for funding in 10 counties: Tulare,
Lake, Santa Cruz, Shasta, Sonoma, Humboldt, Santa Barbara, San
Mateo, Yolo and Colusa.
A weak atmospheric river rolled through the San Francisco Bay
Area early Tuesday, dumping more than 2 inches of rain in the
Marin County community Kentfield, nestled in the shadow of Mt.
Tamalpais, but giving little relief to the drought stricken
South Bay. Rainfall totals over the last 24 hours depended
entirely on what zip code you lived in.
Despite a much improved water supply situation in the North
Bay, the Marin Municipal Water District moved a bit closer to a
new emergency pipeline across the Richmond-San Rafael Bridge
from the East Bay. Key question: will this proposed pipeline
across this bridge be enough? Thanks to recent rains, the
Phoenix Reservoir spillway is spilling, but there are no
guarantees for the future for the Marin Municipal Water
District’s 191,000 customers.
California Water Service (Cal Water) will hold a public meeting
at the Robert Livermore Community Center, Tuesday, Nov.
16, 6 p.m. to explain Stage 2 Water Shortage
restrictions, which includes limits on outdoor watering
and increased penalties for wasting water. If approved by
the California Public Utilities Commission, Cal Water’s Stage 2
restrictions would become effective Dec. 14. Under a Stage
2 water-shortage declaration, outdoor landscape irrigation is
limited to three days per week, and only between 6 p.m. and 9
Southern California’s largest urban water district declared a
drought emergency on Tuesday and called for local water
suppliers to immediately cut the use of water from the State
Water Project. The resolution passed by the board of the
Metropolitan Water District of Southern California calls on
people across the region to step up conservation efforts, but
also focuses especially on six water agencies that rely heavily
or entirely on the water-starved State Water Project.
This year alone Texas froze over and the Sierra Nevada forests
that help sequester carbon dioxide from the atmosphere burned
on and on from the Caldor Fire – two sure signs of the need to
better predict extreme events caused by climate change, and the
effect these events have on ecosystem services, such as carbon
sequestration by plants and soils. Doing so requires
realistic, high-resolution simulations of environmental changes
taking place across oceans, land, and ice generated by Earth
system models running on the most powerful, advanced computers.
The East Bay Municipal Utility District (EBMUD) has recently
entered into a five-year agreement to use ASTERRA’s Recover and
MasterPlan technologies, which will help the district
anticipate leaks. EBMUD serves 1.4 million customers with over
4,200 miles of pipelines in the eastern portion of the San
Francisco Bay area in northern California. Corrosion, ground
movement, soil conditions, variations in water pressure,
contract work, and other factors can affect their water
pipelines and can lead to leaks.
…California needs 140% of precipitation to reach average
runoff conditions….The average amount of precipitation in
California is 23 inches per year, said Michelle Stern, a
hydrologist at USGS. The state would need 140% of that — around
32 inches — to recover. The average across California in
October was 4 inches. This year, the state would “need an
additional 28 inches of precipitation … to recover to average
runoff conditions,” Stern said.
Former UC Berkeley postdoctoral scholar Max Lambert is part of
a team of wildlife experts who spent much of the pandemic
checking in on the health of the Bay Area’s Western pond
turtles, including a population living right next door in
Tilden Regional Park. Despite being California’s only
native freshwater turtle, the Western pond turtle is struggling
to survive the combined effects of climate change, habitat
destruction and urban development — not to
mention competition with the larger, more aggressive
red-eared slider turtle, an invasive species.
Pleasanton will officially learn Friday whether it will succeed
in its efforts to lower the number of housing units it must
plan for in the years to come. The odds do not appear to be in
the city’s favor. Pleasanton was one of 27 local governments to
appeal their Regional Housing Needs Allocation to the
Association of Bay Area Governments, a planning agency that
focuses on finding regional solutions to issues such as
housing, water or environmental matters.
As an environmental officer in Samoa, Violet Wulf-Saena worked
with the Lano and Saoluafata Indigenous peoples to restore
coastline mangrove ecosystems that could slow incoming waves
and protect communities from storm and flood damage. Two
decades later, in California’s San Francisco Bay Area, she’s
the director of a nonprofit called Climate Resilient
Communities that works on the same issue: restoring marshlands
and wetlands to better protect vulnerable neighborhoods in
low-lying areas from sea level rise.
In a lawsuit over century-old pollution from a defunct gas
plant, two lawyers urged a federal judge Wednesday to adopt
their interpretations of what historic business records say
about Pacific Gas and Electric’s liability for potential
groundwater contamination. … [Attorney Stuart] Gross
represents plaintiff Dan Clarke, a former San Francisco
resident seeking a court order that would force PG&E to
investigate and clean up contamination allegedly left by the
Cannery gas plant, which was owned and operated by PG&E’s
predecessors from 1899 to 1903.
What do clothes dryers and car tires have in common? Both
release microplastic pollution into the environment, according
to a new investigation by scientists at the San Francisco
Estuary Institute. Building on SFEI’s major finding that
storm-driven runoff from cities is a major pathway for
microplastics to enter California’s aquatic ecosystems, this
new report synthesizes available information on sources of
microplastics to urban runoff, including textile, cigarette
filter, and other types of fibers; single-use plastic foodware;
and vehicle tires.
Rain fell across parts of Northern California on Thursday, and
more was possible into the weekend, but forecasts were backing
off chances of an atmospheric river event next week, the
National Weather Service said. Snow levels were expected to
remain high but possibly lower to mountain pass levels when
another system moves through on Friday and Saturday,
Water rising beneath the ground, pushed up by intruding salt
water as sea levels rise, now impacts thousands of toxic waste
sites throughout the San Francisco Bay Area. A six-month
investigation by NBC Bay Area found that the threat from rising
groundwater isn’t decades in the future but, in some cases, may
be imminent. In many hot spots from the North Bay to the South
Bay, UC Berkeley scientists told the Investigative Unit they’ve
recorded groundwater already at or near the surface.
The number of San Jose homes and businesses with overdue water
bills spiked during the COVID-19 pandemic, and many could see
their taps run dry when the state ban on water shutoffs ends in
December. At least 1,160 customers have unpaid bills totaling a
combined $1.1 million with the San Jose Municipal Water System
as of June, according to a city audit published earlier this
The rain just keeps on coming. The second weak storm of
the week is set to sweep the San Francisco Bay Area Wednesday;
on Thursday night into Friday, another system may bring light
showers to the North Bay. A break from the rain is
expected through the weekend, but the dry conditions won’t last
long. Long-term weather models show a weak atmospheric river
diving into the region, bringing soaking rain Monday into
When the City of Sonoma required water customers to reduce
their use, residents got off to a slow start, with just a 3.8%
savings in July. But now, the city is catching up, with a 17.4%
savings recorded from July to September, not to mention the
wettest October in the last three years. … Which means
despite the torrential rainfall over the past weeks, water
users should resist the impulse to celebrate with a long hot
shower or an overdue car wash.
The president of a Marin water agency that serves most of the
North Bay county on Friday responded to harsh criticism from an
East Bay mayor who publicly rebuked the agency for a proposed
pipeline that he asserts would present quality-of-life issues
for his city’s residents. Marin Municipal Water District Board
President Cynthia Koehler in a statement to Patch said she
disputes most of Richmond Mayor Tom Butt’s assertions but
acknowledged that not all his concerns are without merit.
Anchor Brewing, San Francisco’s oldest brewery, just added an
on-site water treatment plant to their operations that has the
capacity to recycle up to 20 million gallons annually —
equivalent to water usage for more than 1,300 residents. It
takes an average of seven gallons of water to produce one
gallon of beer. While beer is 95% water, the majority of the
water entailed in the production of beer involves equipment
cleaning and bottle rinsing.
The East Bay is getting a new environmental playground as a
project, decades in the making, by completing the last major
task to turn it from a pile of bay and creek dredgings into a
real tidal marsh. As giant backhoes tore into an earthen
levee in Martinez, it was a very good Friday to restore a tiny
part of the more than 90% of the Bay’s historic tidal wetlands,
which were lost to human activity.
It seems as though the two things the Bay Area has the least of
are housing and water. The region has a shortfall of 699,000
housing units, which has driven housing costs to astronomical
heights, and pushed 35,000 of our neighbors into temporary
housing or onto the streets. Our colleagues at San Francisco
Bay Area Planning and Urban Research Association (SPUR),a
public policy think tank, have found that the region needs to
build an astonishing 2.2 million homes by 2070 to meet future
demand and make up for the present shortfall. -Written by Laura Feinstein, sustainability and
resilience policy director at SPUR, a Bay Area public policy
think tank; and Anne Thebo, a senior researcher for
Pacific Institute, a global water think tank.
When Peter Gleick graduated from Yale in the late 1970s with an
engineering degree, he knew one thing: he didn’t want to be an
engineer. He was fascinated by big systems and big questions,
and drawn to the nascent field of environmental science.
… In the ‘80s, Gleick, in effect, created an applied
academic discipline—fresh water management—and built a place to
study it and offer solutions, the Pacific Institute [based
It’s a Saturday in September and [Yvette] Hudson can expect to
sell all her fish, as she does three times a week. It’s good
money, but it isn’t enough, and by the end of the year she and
her husband, Mike, will be quitting the commercial fishing
business after 25 years. … Water diversion and habitat
loss continue to threaten the population of wild salmon
migrating between freshwater and saltwater. An even more
serious problem is looming. This year’s heat wave and extended
drought imperiled the Chinook population as warm rivers killed
Given the quantity and intensity of last week’s rain, an
obvious question is: ‘Is the drought over?’ Alas, the answer is
a resounding no. But, the data are interesting and worth
thinking about in more detail.
An atmospheric river delivered record-breaking amounts of rain
across Northern California last weekend. The precipitation
helped bring some northern regions out of extreme and
exceptional drought conditions. Before the rains, about 46% of
California’s land was under “exceptional” drought — the most
severe drought category … This week’s data released Thursday
shows that figure has shrunk to about 39%.
The big storm brought a lot of much-needed moisture to the Bay
Area, but it also brought a lot of stuff into the San Francisco
Bay that doesn’t belong in the bay. … [Sajel
Choksi-Chugh, the executive director for San Francisco
Baykeeper] and her team scooped up visible trash and debris
from the bay on Wednesday. This is something that typically
happens after a big storm, according to Choksi-Chugh.
The San Francisco Bay-Delta is one of the most invaded
estuaries in the world, with non-native species now a large
part of the Delta’s ecosystem. The invasion of new non-native
species threatens the achievement of the coequal goal of
“protecting, restoring, and enhancing the Delta ecosystem.”
Reducing the impact of non-native species is one of the core
strategies called for in the Delta Stewardship Council’s Delta
A historic moisture-packed atmospheric river that swept
California on Sunday into Monday delivered much-needed rain and
snow to a drought-plagued state that could face severe
challenges if it sees another dry winter. The question on
everyone’s minds now is, could this be the start to a wet
winter? Here’s what three experts had to say:
Flooding, particularly on coasts, threatens families and
communities. In a recent study published in the academic
journal Earth’s Future, researchers looked at the costs of
coastal flooding through an equity lens, finding that flooding
comes with both monetary and social risks, suggesting that many
people who own or rent homes at risk from rising sea levels may
not have enough money to pay for the associated damages.
… The study, which analyzed counties in the San
Francisco Bay Area, projected flooding impacts from 2020 to
2060, determining that coastal flooding disproportionately
impacts lower-income households.
The state is moving ahead with its proposal to boost flows on
the Tuolumne and nearby rivers, to the dismay of irrigation
districts and San Francisco. The reservoir releases are needed
to help fish and other wildlife on tributaries to the San
Joaquin River, two cabinet secretaries said in a letter
Thursday, Oct. 20. The water users contend that the releases
would take too much from farms and cities supplied by the
Tuolumne, Stanislaus and Merced rivers. They have instead
sought “voluntary agreements” that would increase reservoir
releases to some extent while enhancing fish habitat in other
ways, such as restoring spawning gravel for salmon.
Nitrogen inputs to the San Francisco Bay are among the highest
of estuaries worldwide, yet so far have not caused harmful
impacts like extreme algal blooms, oxygen depletion, and fish
kills. But resistance to this nutrient may not last. Ever since
the Gold Rush, excess sediment from pulverized rock has been
pouring into the Bay, clouding the water and keeping algae in
check by blocking sunlight.
Most Marin County residents will be prohibited from turning on
their sprinklers and drip irrigation systems under new drought
restrictions starting in December. The Marin Municipal Water
District board voted unanimously Tuesday to adopt an ordinance
that bans residents from using outdoor irrigation systems
including overhead sprinklers and drip irrigation from Dec. 1
through May 31. Hand spot watering using a hose and spray
nozzle or a watering can is still allowed.
A “dirt broker” whose prison sentence for illegally dumping
pollutants into protected wetlands was overturned by a federal
appeals court last year pleaded guilty to one count of
violating the Clean Water Act and agreed to serve one year of
probation, prosecutors confirmed Thursday. For a fee, James
Lucero provided trucking companies and contractors with an open
space to dump dirt and construction debris. Lucero’s dumping
sites were separated from Mowry Slough by a levee made of
California bore the brunt on Sunday of what meteorologists
referred to as a “bomb cyclone” and an “atmospheric river,” a
convergence of storms that brought more than half a foot of
rain to parts of the Bay Area, along with high winds, flash
floods and the potential for heavy snow in the Sierra Nevada.
… The convergence of storms comes at a challenging time
for California, which has been besieged by wildfires and
drought, the result of extreme weather brought on by climate
Julian Meisler stood on a human-made levee at low tide along
the shore of San Pablo Bay, surveying 1,000 acres of a dark
brown, mostly barren mud flat. … [Meisler] is the
project manager of Sonoma Land Trust’s 15-year campaign to
restore wetlands intended to protect the Highway 37 corridor —
with both a roadway and rail line — from flooding exacerbated
by sea level rise. And now the levee, a victim of erosion from
wind waves, is being fortified by an unprecedented restoration
project using hundreds of trees — some salvaged from wildfire
burn areas — to blunt the waves and promote wildlife habitat.
Anchor Brewing is San Francisco’s oldest operating brewery,
producing its flagship steam beer since 1896. Now it’s making
history in a new way. The brewery will soon operate the city’s
largest commercial water reuse facility. Instead of dumping out
water after rinsing fermentation tanks and cleaning bottling
lines, Anchor will collect, treat and recycle much of what used
to go down the drain.
The Marin Municipal Water District has allocated up to $23.2
million to buy equipment for a proposed emergency supply
pipeline across the Richmond-San Rafael Bridge. The investment,
approved by the district board on Tuesday, is the largest the
agency has made since proposing the idea earlier this year. The
8-mile pipeline, estimated to cost up to $90 million, is the
district’s main backup plan should it deplete its main
reservoir supplies next summer in the event of another dry
Blasted by sun and beaten by waves,
plastic bottles and bags shed fibers and tiny flecks of
microplastic debris that litter the San Francisco Bay where they
can choke the marine life that inadvertently consumes it.
Estuaries are places where fresh and
salt water mix, usually at the point where a river enters the
ocean. They are the meeting point between riverine environments
and the sea, with a combination of tides, waves, salinity, fresh
water flow and sediment. The constant churning means there are
elevated levels of nutrients, making estuaries highly productive
Understanding the importance of the Bay-Delta ecosystem and
working to restore it means grasping the scope of what it once
That’s the takeaway message of a report released Nov. 14 by the
San Francisco Estuary Institute.
The report, “A
Delta Renewed,” is the latest in a series sponsored by the
California Department of Fish and Wildlife (DFW). Written by
several authors, the report says there is “cause for hope” to
achieving large-scale Delta restoration in a way that supports
people, farms and the environment. SFEI calls itself “one of
California’s premier aquatic and ecosystem science institutes.”
Zooplankton, which are floating
aquatic microorganisms too small and weak to swim against
currents, are are important food sources for many fish species in
the Delta such as salmon, sturgeon and Delta smelt.
The Pacific Flyway is one of four
major North American migration routes for birds, especially
waterfowl, and extends from Alaska and Canada, through
California, to Mexico and South America. Each year, birds follow
ancestral patterns as they travel the flyway on their annual
north-south migration. Along the way, they need stopover sites
such as wetlands with suitable habitat and food supplies. In
California, 90 percent of historic wetlands have been lost.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
Operated by the U.S. Army Corps of the Engineers, the San
Francisco Bay/Delta Model is a hydraulic model of San Francisco
Bay and the Delta and is housed in a converted World II-era
warehouse in Sausalito in Marin County.
Stretching 320-feet by 400-feet wide, the Bay Model
features a replica of the Bay Delta watershed from the Golden
Gate to the Sacramento-San Joaquin
Delta. Pumping systems move hundreds of gallons of water
throughout the display and create 14-minute tidal ebb and flow.
Invasive species, also known as
exotics, are plants, animals, insects and aquatic species
introduced into non-native habitats.
Often, invasive species travel to non-native areas by ship,
either in ballast water released into harbors or attached to the
sides of boats. From there, introduced species can then spread
and significantly alter ecosystems and the natural food chain as
they go. Another example of non-native species introduction is
the dumping of aquarium fish into waterways.
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.
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.