BROWN BAG SEMINAR: Viewing estuaries from a ‘macroscope’: How global, regional, and local processes affect the San Francisco Bay and Delta

There has been an ongoing conversation about the importance of thinking about the San Francisco Estuary holistically as a connected system, rather than siloing the Bay, Delta, and watersheds.  The system is connected, after all, and it is important not to ignore the influence they have on each other. However, the connections just don’t end at the Golden Gate.  The […]

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PANEL DISCUSSION: Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta Legal Framework: ‘All the acronyms you need to know’

Panel of lawyers dive into the web of laws affecting water in the Delta: The state and federal endangered species acts, water quality control planning, the Delta Reform Act, best available science, and more … The Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta is a complex place on so many levels: physically, ecologically, hydrologically – and most especially legally.  There is a complex web […]

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CA WATER LAW SYMPOSIUM: An overview of California water rights

California water law is complex, governed by both state and federal law, part property law and part environmental law. Adding to this complexity is the existence of a large number of federal, state and local agencies which play a role in the allocation and management of the state’s water resources. At the 2019 California Water Law Symposium, Professor Dave Owen […]

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FEATURE: Reactivating our floodplains: A new way forward

Panel of experts discuss how reactivating the floodplains can provide habitat and food for native fish and for migrating birds, and highlights the many projects and opportunities in the Sacramento Valley Nearly the entire Sacramento Valley floor is part of the historic floodplain that once supported robust fish and wildlife populations.  As the Sacramento Valley was settled and farming began, […]

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PFAS EXPLAINED: The growing crisis of ‘forever chemicals’

PFAS are a group of chemicals that have become ubiquitous in consumer goods – and the environment.  What are they and what can be done about them? PFAS, or poly- and perfluoroalkyl substances have received a lot of attention in the media recently.  Initially notorious for contaminating drinking water sources as a result of industrial releases and use of firefighting […]

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GSA SUMMIT: SGMA and Land Use Issues

Panel discusses land use issues, including well permitting, land fallowing, general plans and SGMA, and more … Groundwater is intimately connected with the landscape and land use that it underlies.  How land is developed above can change both water demand and how much water can be recharged, and inappropriate land use and poor land management can cause chronic groundwater quality […]

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CA WATER LAW SYMPOSIUM: Questions of common supply: SGMA requirements for interconnected surface water and groundwater

The Sustainable Groundwater Management Act (SGMA), passed in 2014, is California’s first statewide law that explicitly reflects the fact that surface water and groundwater are frequently interconnected and that groundwater management can impact groundwater-dependent ecosystems, surface water flows, and the beneficial uses of those flows. SGMA requires groundwater sustainability agencies (GSAs) to manage groundwater to avoid six undesirable results, one […]

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WOTS Up? An Update Regarding Regulation of Waters of the State and Waters of the United States

Attorney Mary Lynn Coffee unpacks the new wetland regulations and Waters of the State rule, plus a look at the 2019 Waters of the US rule On April 2, 2019, the State Water Board adopted new regulations requiring Water Boards to issue permits for discharges of dredged and fill material (meaning soil, sediment, or dirt) to Waters of the State […]

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SGMA IMPLEMENTATION: Groundwater sustainability goals and challenges

Groundwater managers working in four critically-overdrafted basins discuss how their planning efforts are going In basins all over California, groundwater managers are focused on developing their groundwater sustainability plans to meet the deadlines set by the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act (SGMA).  For groundwater basins designated as critically-overdrafted basins, the 2020 is right around the corner. At the spring conference of […]

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ELLEN HANAK: Managing Drought in a Changing Climate: Four Essential Reforms

Climate change is having a profound impact on California’s water resources, as evidenced by greater weather extremes, reduced snowpack, higher sea level, and changes in river flows. Models predict that more precipitation will fall as rain instead of snow, exacerbating flood risks and creating additional challenges for water supply reliability. These impacts are expected to intensify in the future.  In […]

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