California Needs to Rethink Urban Fire Risk After Wine Country Tragedy

Policy and planning shortfalls in how we assess fire risk need to be addressed because we’re likely to see more wildfires tearing through urban neighborhoods, says fire expert Max Moritz of the University of California, Berkeley. Written by Max Moritz, Published on Nov. 9, 2017, Read time Approx. 6 minutes We recently witnessed the wind-driven Tubbs fire blast … Continue reading “California Needs to Rethink Urban Fire Risk After Wine Country Tragedy”

Toxic Ashes and Charred Forests Threaten Water After North Bay Fires

The fires that burned wildlands and urban areas in Northern California this month now pose a threat to water quality, humans and wildlife as crews work to contain unstable hillsides and keep toxic debris from entering waterways. Written by Alastair Bland. Published on Oct. 24, 2017. Read time Approx. 5 minutes For many homeowners in … Continue reading “Toxic Ashes and Charred Forests Threaten Water After North Bay Fires”

Satellite Imagery Used to Measure Algal Bloom Frequency—Steps Toward Understanding Exposure Risk

Study explores the utility and limitations of currently available remotely sensed satellite data for identifying the frequency of algal blooms in the Nation’s lakes and reservoirs. This information provides a first step toward the goal of understanding exposure risk to protect the health of humans, pets, livestock, and wildlife. Our Nation’s lakes and reservoirs provide … Continue reading “Satellite Imagery Used to Measure Algal Bloom Frequency—Steps Toward Understanding Exposure Risk”

Improving the Health of California’s Headwater Forests

Van Butsic, Henry McCann, Jodi Axelson, Brian Gray, Yufang Jin, Jeffrey Mount, Scott Stephens, William Stewart September 2017 Summary California’s headwater forests are not thriving under current management practices, and changes are needed to make them more resilient to periodic drought and long-term climate change. More active management of these lands is needed to improve forest health, reduce the risk of major … Continue reading “Improving the Health of California’s Headwater Forests”

Study Details Timber Harvest Impacts On Stream Temperatures; Private Lands Warmer

September 23, 2011 One of the largest and longest studies done in Oregon on the impact of timber harvest on stream temperatures has found no average temperature increases on state forest lands, but a 1.3 degree increase on private timber lands. Stream temperatures are a particular concern for cold-water fish such as trout and salmon, and the … Continue reading “Study Details Timber Harvest Impacts On Stream Temperatures; Private Lands Warmer”

State Water Board Issues Revised Rule for Definition of Wetlands and Dredge/Fill Procedures

Elizabeth “Betsy” Lake  HIGHLIGHTS: The California State Water Resources Control Board (State Water Board) has published its final draft proposed rule for a “State Wetland Definition and Procedures for Discharges of Dredged or Fill Material to Waters of the State” (Proposed Rule). The Proposed Rule includes a definition of wetlands applicable to State Water Board … Continue reading “State Water Board Issues Revised Rule for Definition of Wetlands and Dredge/Fill Procedures”

OtPR’s list of dangerous ideas in water management

by onthepublicrecord   The California Water Blog recently created a list of “dangerous ideas in California water”.  Here are a few additional dangerous ideas in CA water management. That conventional growth predictions are immutable and will pose new demand that we must meet.  There are a few predictions for the mid-century that I hear often.  The top … Continue reading “OtPR’s list of dangerous ideas in water management”

Why California’s Nitrate Problem Will Take Decades to Fix

The state has a long-term plan to clean up nitrate-contaminated groundwater, but farmers say more research is still needed and environmental groups think the proposal isn’t strong enough. Written by Erica Gies Published on Aug. 31, 2017 When folks talk about “black gold” in California’s Central Valley, it’s usually a reference to oil – unless you’re in the … Continue reading “Why California’s Nitrate Problem Will Take Decades to Fix”

Like Swimming Through a Pharmacy

Researchers found a wide array of contaminants in Puget Sound fish  By Pippa Wysong March 30, 2016 The fish in Washington State’s Puget Sound are on drugs. In juvenile chinook salmon and staghorn sculpin, researchers recently found traces of more than 40 different contaminants, including pharmaceuticals, personal care products, and industrial chemicals. The presence of … Continue reading “Like Swimming Through a Pharmacy”

Partnering With Beavers: 10-Year Study Shows How Beaver Dams In Arid Streams Moderate Water Temps

Posted on Friday, June 02, 2017 (PST) A 10-year study of the influence of beaver dams – some artificially added to the stream during the study – on stream water temperature found that the dams increase surface water storage and encourage cool groundwater flow. The results are a cooler stream at a time when typically … Continue reading “Partnering With Beavers: 10-Year Study Shows How Beaver Dams In Arid Streams Moderate Water Temps”