From – California relies on its rivers and streams for a plethora of services—water supply, flood control, biodiversity conservation, and hydropower generation, to name a few. As a result, understanding the flow of water through the state’s stream network is critical for supporting California’s economy and ecosystems. A new study published by UC Berkeley researchers in Nature Sustainability finds, however, that California’s rivers and streams are critically under-monitored, making it difficult to properly manage water supply and control floods, monitor changes in freshwater biodiversity, and understand how climate change is affecting water supplies. According to the authors’ analysis, only 8% of all rivers and streams in California are monitored by stream gauges, the technology used to measure the flow of water upstream or downstream from their installation site. “As climate change progresses and the demands on California’s water resources and water infrastructure grow, it is critical to have reliable, timely, and comprehensive information about water in rivers and streams,” said lead author Lucy Andrews, a PhD candidate in the Department of Environmental Science, Policy, and Management. “Our work highlights concerning gaps in California’s water monitoring capabilities and proposes tools for addressing those gaps.” (more)