Keywords:climate change, planning and management, water supply
California is currently experiencing one of the worst droughts in memory. The 2016 water year is off to a good start, but with...
California is currently experiencing one of the worst droughts in memory. The 2016 water year is off to a good start, but with four consecutive dry years and the record low snowpack of 2015, drought conditions may continue for a fifth straight year.
Flooding in the midst of drought is likely, given strong El Niño conditions in the Pacific Ocean. Nothing focuses Californians’ attention on our water resources like the extremes of flood and drought.
There is broad agreement that the state’s water management system is currently unable to satisfactorily meet both ecological and human needs, too exposed to wet and dry climate cycles and natural disasters, and inadequate to handle the additional pressures of future population growth and climate change. Solutions are complex and expensive, and they require the cooperation and sustained commitment of all Californians working together. To be sustainable, solutions must strike a balance between the need to provide for public health and safety (e.g., safe drinking water, clean rivers and beaches, flood protection), protect the environment, and support a stable California economy.
This action plan lays out our challenges, our goals and decisive actions needed now to put California’s water resources on a safer, more sustainable path. While this plan commits the state to moving forward, it also serves to recognize that state government cannot do this alone. Collaboration between federal, state, local and tribal governments, in coordination with our partners in a wide range of industry, government and nongovernmental organizations is not only important—it is essential. The input and contributions received from all of these partners throughout the drafting of this action plan have resulted in a comprehensive and inclusive plan.
The California Water Supply and Demand Model (CWSD) examines the ways in which California’s water supply and demand are likely to be affected...
The California Water Supply and Demand Model (CWSD) examines the ways in which California’s water supply and demand are likely to be affected by climate change; its purpose is to serve as a base for quantifying these impacts in economic terms. California’s water future is modeled under conditions of no adaptation to climate change, and under several projected water use adaptation scenarios taken from the literature; climate change adaptation scenarios include water used for energy, the urban or residential sector, and agriculture.
The main CWSD compares key categories of water inputs and outputs on a month-by-month basis to capture seasonality in water availability. A supplementary model allows for the main model’s beginning surface reservoir storage to result from water supply and demand interactions over a stylized previous 100 years. Three areas of water use are both especially critical and vulnerable to climatic change: the energy, agriculture, and urban sectors. In the energy module, water demand is a based on different scenarios of coal, nuclear and renewable power use, conservation technology, state population trends, and projected temperatures. In the agriculture module, crop and animal water use by county is a function of projected summer temperatures by county. In the urban module, residential, industrial/commercial, and public water use are based on projected levels of socio-economic growth.
The California State Water Resources Control Board (Board) is tasked with updating the 2006 Water Quality Control Plan for the Bay-Delta Estuary (Bay-Delta...
The California State Water Resources Control Board (Board) is tasked with updating the 2006 Water Quality Control Plan for the Bay-Delta Estuary (Bay-Delta Plan). The Board planning activities for this process have four phases.
Phase 1 focused on San Joaquin River flow requirements and southern Delta water quality objectives. The current phase (Phase 2) focuses on fish and wildlife beneficial uses. Phase 3 will focus on modifications to water rights and Phase 4 will focus on the development and implementation of flow requirements for priority Delta tributaries.
Phase 2 workshops were held to conduct discussions and generate information regarding the scientific and technical basis for considering potential changes to the Bay-Delta Plan. The workshops were informal; the Board did not take any official action and there was no sworn testimony.
Information provided during the workshops will augment information developed through earlier reviews and will inform the Board members and staff on what, if any, changes should be made to the Bay-Delta Plan.
Three workshops were held. Full workshop agendas are provided in Appendix A.
1. Ecosystem Changes and the Low Salinity Zone, September 5–6, 2012 – including the effects of the low salinity zone on various estuarine species, the interaction of salinity with non-flow related factors, and the identification of modeling or other tools that can be used to measure and reasonably protect estuarine habitat.
2. Bay-Delta Fishery Resources, October 1–2, 2012 – including flow, cold water pool, habitat, and water project operational constraints needed to reasonably protect Central Valley steelhead, Sacramento River winter-run, Central Valley late fall–run Chinook salmon, and pelagic species (including Delta smelt and longfin smelt); and the interaction of these issues with non-flow related factors.
3. Analytical Tools for Evaluating the Water Supply, Hydrodynamic, and Hydropower Effects of the Bay-Delta Plan, November 13–14, 2012 – including the CalSim II water supply model, DSM2 and RMA2 hydrodynamic models, Plexus hydropower model, and others as applicable, together with results from applying these models to various scenarios.
Throughout history, much of the world has witnessed ever-greater demands for reliable, high-quality and inexpensive water supplies for domestic consumption, agriculture, and industry....
Throughout history, much of the world has witnessed ever-greater demands for reliable, high-quality and inexpensive water supplies for domestic consumption, agriculture, and industry. In recent decades there have also been increasing demands for hydrological regimes that support healthy and diverse ecosystems, provide for water-based recreational activities, reduce if not prevent floods and droughts, and in some cases, provide for the production of hydropower and ensure water levels adequate for ship navigation. Water managers are challenged to meet these multiple and often conflicting demands. At the same time, public stakeholder interest groups have shown an increasing desire to take part in the water resources development and management decision-making process. Added to all these management challenges are the uncertainties of natural water supplies and demands due to changes in our climate, changes in people's standards of living, changes in watershed land uses and changes in technology. How can managers develop, or redevelop and restore, and then manage water resources systems - systems ranging from small watersheds to those encompassing large river basins and coastal zones - in a way that meets society's changing objectives and goals? In other words, how can water resources systems become more integrated and sustainable?