Vast Opportunity’: Captured Stormwater Could Be Urban Boon

From ASCE (American Society of Civil Engineers) – Long seen as a nuisance to be gotten rid of as quickly as possible, urban stormwater increasingly is being viewed as a resource. Although the concept of capturing and using urban stormwater has gained attention in recent years, the full promise of this approach is far from being realized. This is the assessment of a new report released in early March by global water think tank the Pacific Institute and 2NDNATURE Software Inc., a provider of stormwater management software. Titled Untapped Potential: An Assessment of Urban Stormwater Runoff Potential in the United States, the report finds that U.S. cities, particularly those in coastal regions, could benefit in multiple ways by making greater use of stormwater. Nationwide, a massive volume of precipitation becomes urban runoff in the U.S. On average, the annual volumetric potential for urban stormwater runoff totals 59.5 million acre-feet per year, equal to 53.1 billion gallons per day, according to the report. (more)

WEAP Future Scenarios Model for Water Plan Update 2023

From the Department of Water Resources – Data and model released for Update 2023 future scenarios. DWR has released the data used to develop future scenarios for California Water Plan Update 2023. A Water Evaluation and Planning (WEAP) model was used to generate the data assessing the impacts of climate change on California water resources and infrastructure. Previously, data from the WEAP model have been available upon request; now they are posted online. (more)

“Park of the Future” Demonstrates Power of Healthy Rivers for Resilient California

From River Partners – It was a moment nearly 20 years in the making—fitting it took place on Earth Day—and River Partners has been there from the very beginning. After leading the largest private-public floodplain restoration project in California history, River Partners joined dozens of others, including state and local leaders and conservation advocates, to formally dedicate River Partners’ historic 1,600-acre Dos Rios Ranch Preserve as California’s newest state park and open to the public June 12. California natural-resource and conservation leaders are calling for 100,000 acres of critical river restoration throughout the Central Valley over the coming decades to support healthy ecosystems, water conservation, flood safety, sustainable agriculture, and the urgent recovery of populations of wildlife found nowhere else on Earth. Projects like Dos Rios demonstrate the power of nature-based solutions for California’s environment and communities in the face of a changing climate. By 2030, River Partners

aims to acquire up to 30,000 acres of riverside lands—and double our pace of restoration—to build a more resilient future for the state. Among those helping with the Earth Day dedication were California Governor Gavin Newsom, First Partner Jennifer Siebel Newsom, California Natural Resources Secretary Wade Crowfoot, California State Parks Director Armando Quintero, California Secretary for Environmental Protection Yana Garcia, and labor leader and civil rights activist Dolores Huerta, who grew up in nearby Stockton. (more)

IMPACT Journal Includes Article on California Flood-MAR Efforts

IMPACT Journal Includes Article on California Flood-MAR Efforts

From California Water Blog – The latest issue of the American Water ResourcesAssociation’s IMPACT journal focuses on land and water planning and includes an article about the ongoing collaboration in California”s flood-managed aquifer recharge (Flood-MAR) effort. The article includes some of the events and developments that led to the creation of the Flood-MAR Network and how it identifies resources and opportunities to integrate with other programs. Access to the journal requires submitting a name and email address. (more),



Book Review: Seek Higher Ground

Seek Higher Ground: The Natural Solution to Our Urgent Flooding Crisis, by Tim Palmer. University of California Press 2024.

From California Water Blog – Flooding is a natural phenomenon that we humans keep assuming can be controlled with enough effort and engineering.  But this simply is not possible, as floods across the globe repeatedly demonstrate. People continue to be surprised when landscapes become waterscapes. This brings loss of life and enormous costs of repairing damaged infrastructure and constructing bigger levees and dams for flood control. As Tim Palmer says in his new book (2024) local to global failures of current flood management practices: “The age of denial is over. The time has come to take a different path (p 140)”.  Palmer is the right person to explore new pathways.  He is an independent writer and photographer who has spent a lifetime exploring the rivers and watersheds of North America, but especially those in California (Palmer 2010) (more)

Climatologists Expect La Nina to Return Before Summer Ends

From the Capital Press – The surface of the Pacific Ocean along the equator is cooling and likely will continue to cool, triggering a La Nina this summer that will stay through the winter, the National Weather Service predicted Thursday. Sea-surface temperatures have been above average for almost a year, but will drop this month to near normal, ending a strong El Nino that peaked in December, according to the weather service’s Climate Prediction Center. There is a 69% chance that between July and September seas will be cool enough for a La Nina. La Nina winters are generally cooler and wetter in the Pacific Northwest and good for irrigators. Some stretches of the Pacific Ocean already are cooler than normal. La Ninas tends to follow strong El Ninos, adding confidence to the forecast, according to the climate center. (more)

First-of-its-Kind Watershed Study Highlights How Innovative Tools Help Build Climate Resilience in the San Joaquin Valley

From DWR – California’s changing climate brings new challenges each year for water managers as they navigate extreme shifts from drought to flood while working to ensure safe, reliable water supplies for California’s 39 million residents. Water managers address these challenges in their local watersheds, which are often at the forefront of the impacts of climate change. The Department of Water Resources (DWR) is working with local and regional water agencies such as the Merced Irrigation District to conduct cutting-edge climate vulnerability assessments of watersheds in the San Joaquin Valley and evaluating how flood protection and groundwater recharge strategies can be used to adapt to climate vulnerabilities. (more)

Informed and Prepared: How Yuba Water Agency Educates Residents about Flood Risk

From Sacramento News & Review – Sitting at the intersection of the Yuba and Feather Rivers, Yuba County has been described by the US Army Corps of Engineers as being “most prone to severe flooding of any river valley in the United States.” For this reason, it’s important that significant effort be made to reduce the risk of flooding as much as possible, and that Yuba County residents be informed of their personal flood risk. Fortunately, residents have several tools at their disposal to help them do that. Leading the charge is Yuba Water Agency. Formed in 1959 in response to a 1955 flood in next-door Sutter County that displaced 40,000 residents and killed 38, Yuba Water Agency has worked tirelessly over the decades to construct the New Bullards Bar Reservoir, to invest in strengthening the county’s levee infrastructure and to utilize technology to help reduce flood risk. (more)

Tech Could Enhance Local Levee Monitoring to Reduce Flood Risk

From gt Industry Insider– With the goal of further reducing the risk of catastrophic flooding, a project kickoff meeting was held last month to better understand how the Center for Information Technology Research in the Interest of Society and the Banatao Institute (CITRIS) could use research and technologies to enhance levee monitoring and management in Yuba County. CITRIS leverages the research strengths of different University of California campuses. The April 19 meeting also involved site tours of local levees, and it provided a chance for the researchers from CITRIS to meet levee managers. (more)