From PPIC – Large reservoirs like those that rim the Central Valley are essential for managing water in California’s highly variable climate. They provide multiple benefits including water supply, hydropower, flood management, and recreation. However, construction and operation of these reservoirs have also imposed significant environmental costs, including native fishes’ loss of access to high-quality habitat above dams and degradation of freshwater ecosystems below them. Moreover, regulatory uncertainty for water users is rising as these ecosystems decline. California needs a new approach for managing environmental water in its large reservoirs, particularly as the climate warms and droughts become more intense. (more)