Welcome to California River Watch

I find some hope for the future of our planet in the emergence of millions of unconnected environmental and social movements. The leaderless Anarchy of this mass phenomenon and its macro scale means that its cells will not be centrally controlled or turned aside by profit motives. It seems to be a genuine grass roots response to the global threat which our planet faces. —Paul Hawken «


“Fix it in your constitution that no corporation, no body of men, no capital can get possession and right to your waters. Hold the waters in the hands of the people.”

John Wesley Powell 1890 North Dakota Constitutional Convention

River Watch
Factory chimney smoke

River Watch Comments on State’s Methods and Sources of Carbon Emissions

Subject: Scoping Study 2022 should update GHG inventory methods to include all significant sources of statewide emissions, including emissions from international aviation, international water borne navigation and interstate aviation. Esteemed ARB Staff, Board Members, and Members of the Public, These comments are submitted on behalf of California River Watch . We appreciate the opportunity to […]

Center pivot irrigation system. Lancaster, CA.

Without Enough Water To Go Around, Farmers In California Are Exhausting Aquifers

California's farmers are pumping vast amounts of water from underground aquifers this year to make up for water they can't get from rivers. It's unsustainable, and the state is moving to stop it.July 23, 2021 The next time you pick up some California-grown carrots or melons in the grocery store, consider the curious, contested odyssey of the water that fed them. Chances are, farmers pumped that water from underground aquifers [...]

Defending California’s Precious Waters from Pollution Grantee Spotlight

June 28, 2021 Written by Communications Intern Sage Bachman As California enters another severe drought, residents are once again being asked to use water more judiciously so as to make it last longer. While it is indeed crucial for all of us to reduce our water usage, is also critical to investigate how California’s limited sources […]

A riparian woodland along the Santa Clara River in Southern California experienced almost 100 percent mortality during the state's historic drought that lasted from 2012 to 2016. Credit: John Stella

Forests of the Living Dead

The highly engineered rivers that sustain California cities and farms upset streamside woodlands’ relationship with groundwater, a new study finds, jeopardizing their future in a changing climate. California’s perennially drought-parched Central Valley bears little resemblance to the vibrant landscape of the pre-Gold Rush days, when wild rivers sustained lush woodlands and floodplains teeming with life. Trees at the center of these biodiversity hotspots evolved in an arid landscape sculpted by finely tuned exchanges [...]