Executive Order N-10-19
Keywords:planning and management
Enhancing the Vision for Managing California’s Environmental Information$0.00 Bulk Download
Enhancing the Vision for Managing California’s Environmental InformationDelta Stewardship Council | July 1, 2015...Summary
The Environmental Data Summit, convened under the auspices of the Delta Stewardship Council’s Delta Science Program in June 2014, witnessed remarkable participation from...
The Environmental Data Summit, convened under the auspices of the Delta Stewardship Council’s Delta Science Program in June 2014, witnessed remarkable participation from experts across California, the nation, and even the world. Summit attendees from the public, private, federal, and non-profit sectors shared their views regarding the urgent needs and proposed solutions for California’s data-sharing and data-integration challenges, especially pertaining to the subject of environmental resource management in the era of “big data.”
After all, this is a time when our data sources are growing in number, size, and complexity. Yet our ability to manage and analyze such data in service of effective decision-making lags far behind our demonstrated needs.
In its review of the sustainability of water and environmental management in the California Bay-Delta, the National Research Council (NRC) found that “only a synthetic, integrated, analytical approach to understanding the effects of suites of environmental factors (stressors) on the ecosystem and its components is likely to provide important insights that can lead to enhancement of the Delta and its species” (National Research Council 2012).
The present “silos of data” have resulted in separate and compartmentalized science, impeding our ability to make informed decisions. While resolving data integration challenges will not, by itself, produce better science or better natural resource outcomes, progress in this area will provide a strong foundation for decision-making. Various mandates ranging from the California Water Action Plan to the President’s executive order demanding federal open data policies demonstrate the consensus on the merits of modern data sharing at the scale and function needed to meet today’s challenges.
This white paper emerges from the Summit as an instrument to help identify such opportunities to enhance California’s cross-jurisdictional data management. As a resource to policymakers, agency leadership, data managers, and others, this paper articulates some key challenges as well as proven solutions that, with careful and thoughtful coordination, can be implemented to overcome those obstacles. Primarily featured are tools that complement the State’s current investments in technology, recognizing that success depends upon broad and motivated participation from all levels of the public agency domain.
This document describes examples, practices, and recommendations that focus on California’s Delta as an opportune example likely to yield meaningful initial results in the face of pressing challenges. Once proven in the Delta, however, this paper’s recommended innovations would conceivably be applied statewide in subsequent phases.
A Sustainable Water Plan for California$0.00 Bulk Download
A Sustainable Water Plan for CaliforniaEnvironmental Water Caucus | September 9, 2015...Summary
California’s drought is dire, and has focused legislative and public attention on the enormity of the state’s water problems. As noted in earlier...
California’s drought is dire, and has focused legislative and public attention on the enormity of the state’s water problems. As noted in earlier Environmental Water Caucus (EWC) reports, California already was in a state of crisis prior to the current drought. Four years of minimal precipitation have only worsened our situation.
Our most pressing problems include: the over allocation of surface water by a factor of at least five, leading to supply unreliability for many users and what is referred to as “paper water;” degraded ecosystems and fisheries; and overexploitation of groundwater supplies. All these issues are exacerbated by ongoing climate change and population growth.
The current drought has caused significant new legislation and rules for the state’s water supplies. These are positive developments, and could lead to new approaches for water use; however, too many of these “solutions” are predicated on the false assumption that current drought conditions are temporary. Thirty percent of recent years can be classified as drought years, and multiple drought years are common.
According to DWR, 40 of the last 100 years have been drought or multiple drought years. We must consider our water in new ways. We must acknowledge that California is a drought-prone state, that water is and will be limited, and that every citizen, farmer and commercial enterprise must consume water responsibly, rationally, and in line with available supplies. Unfortunately, many of the plans and actions proposed by our public agencies are based on a fantasy of ever-increasing supply. They demonstrate a bizarre and potentially catastrophic unwillingness to align demand and water contracts with actual supplies and a total disregard for economically disadvantaged communities, fish, and wildlife.
Further, state officials are exploiting the current drought to justify a tired and bankrupt ideology that promotes more dams, tunnels, and infrastructure as a solution to water shortfalls. Most egregiously, they avoid any objective analysis of the true costs and benefits of additional surface storage or the proposed “Twin Tunnels” trans-Delta project. The Governor’s Water Action Plan and the recently authorized Water Bond continue the destructive and ultimately unsustainable momentum toward more surface storage and delivery infrastructure while not creating any new water supplies.
We must recognize that the state’s largest water user – irrigated agriculture – uses 80% of the state’s developed water supply and contributes less than 2% to the states’ economy and payroll, and adjust water practices and priorities accordingly. The continuous planting of permanent crops south of the Delta, where water supply is not reliable and water rights are junior, does not meet the “reasonable use” criteria called for in the California Constitution.
Most of the state’s plans will not reduce water demand or increase supplies. Rather, they pointedly ignore two practices that will augment supplies dramatically: water conservation and recycling. Further, following any brief respite to the drought, there is the omnipresent danger that the state will revert to the “endless supply” mindset that has characterized California water policy for decades.
Since 2009 the Environmental Water Caucus has proposed an approach to our limited water supplies that is efficient, cost-effective and equitable. It will carry us sustainably into the future, and it addresses the deficiencies described above. Unlike our state bureaucracies, we are not simply trying to squeak through the drought; we are advocating for a wholly different management regime. The EWC plan was proposed prior to the current drought, but it addresses the extant crisis and any future period characterized by water shortages. As stressful as it is for ratepayers, farmers and businesses, the current drought enables reform. More to the point, it demands it. Our public officials must recognize this opportunity, and seize it.
A Perspective on the Drought in California$0.00 Bulk Download
A Perspective on the Drought in CaliforniaLegislative Analyst's Office | November 21, 1991...Summary
Despite heavy rains in March 1991, California continues to face a serious near-term water problem resulting from five years of drought. In fact,...
Despite heavy rains in March 1991, California continues to face a serious near-term water problem resulting from five years of drought. In fact, the amount of water in storage on October 1, 1991 was about equal to the amount in storage one year ago—a year in which strict conservation measures were imposed in some areas and there were significant reductions in water supplies for many agricultural users. In this paper, we provide background information on California's water system, the impact of the drought, water needs in the future, and legislative options for coping with water supply limitations.
Climate modeling 101: Explanations without equations$0.00 Bulk Download
Climate modeling 101: Explanations without equationsSpringer Open | January 1, 2016...Summary
Climate scientists tell us it's going to get hotter. How much it rains and where it rains is likely to shift. Sea level...
Climate scientists tell us it's going to get hotter. How much it rains and where it rains is likely to shift. Sea level rise is apt to accelerate. Oceans are on their way to becoming more acidic and less oxygenated. Floods, droughts, storms, and other extreme weather events are projected to change in frequency or intensity.
But how do they know what they know?
For climate scientists, numerical models are the tools of the trade. But for the layperson — and even for scientists in other fields — climate models can seem mysterious. What does "numerical" even mean? Do climate models take other things besides the atmosphere into account? How do scientists know if a model is any good? *
Two experts in climate modeling, Andrew Gettelman of the National Center for Atmospheric Research and Richard Rood of the University of Michigan, have your answers and more, free of charge. In a new open-access book, "Demystifying Climate Models," the pair lay out the fundamentals. In 282 pages, the scientists explain the basics of climate science, how that science is translated into a climate model, and what those models can tell us (as well as what they can't) — all without using a single equation.
*Find the answers on pages 8, 13, and 161, respectively, of the book.