News

3/3/2016

 

KQED Radio’s Forum hosted Professor Roger Bales to comment on the state of California’s water resources. Snowpack accounts for one third of the state’s water supply. On March 1, the California Department of Water Resources (DWR) released that the statewide snowpack is only 83% of normal.

Listen to audio.

Although it’s an El Nino year and northern California is experiencing more snow and rain than  in the previous four winters, the southern half of the Sierra Nevada has...

2/18/2016

Study of adjudicated groundwater basins shows less emphasis on sustainability, more on conflict resolution.

Court adjudication of California's groundwater basins is more often focused on resolving conflicts among water users and less on sustainable groundwater management, according to a UC Santa Cruz study commissioned by the State Water Resources Control Board.

The finding comes in “An Evaluation of California’s Adjudicated Groundwater Basins” scheduled for release today (Feb....

2/18/2016

A new report by the University of California, Santa Cruz evaluates the history and current condition of California's adjudicated groundwater basins and how management of these basins can be improved. Report

Prof. Ruth Langridge prepared the report at the request of the State Water Resources Control Board on basins that have made their underground water management decisions with the help of the courts. The report is an important and timely survey and analysis of all of California's...

2/1/2016

Amid Severe Drought, California Snowpack Hits 5-Year High was an interview by Jeremy Hobson, originally published on NPR on Jan. 27, 2016. 

Listen to the Here&Now podcast of Roger Bales' read on the snowpack. As a hydrologist at the University of California, Merced Sierra Nevada Research Institute, he cautions too much enthusiasm about El Nino by describing the reservoirs and long-term effects of drought. 

Across California, the snowpack is at 115 percent of the average for...

1/21/2016

BY ROGER BALES. ORIGINALLY PRINTED in The Modesto Bee.

Highlights:Yes, it's raining and snowing, but drought damages must be addressed.Subsidence is a serious issue in much of the Central Valley.Federal, state and local agencies need much greater cooperation. Land subsidence in the San Joaquin Valley, California, 1926-70. 

 

Yes, it’s nice to see snow, and those Californians dreaming of a white Christmas saw that dream come true in the Sierra. But dreaming isn’t going to solve the...

1/13/2016

Originally published on UC Merced University News by Lorena Anderson. The article focuses on Mohammad Safeeq, UC Water investigator and research faculty with the Sierra Nevada Research Institute and Southern Sierra Critical Zone Observatory. 

Shakespeare might have been right when he wrote “what’s past is prologue,” but not when it comes to modeling climate change.

A new study shows that rising air temperatures could have a crippling effect on the likelihood of precipitation...

1/11/2016

Originally Published on The California Aggie, UC Davis's entirely student-run publication.

UC schools collaborate in improving statewide water management, security

In December 2015, several researchers from the University of California (UC) gathered to create the UC Water Security and Sustainability Research Initiative, an initiative which focuses on improving water management and sustainability in California.

According to Graham Fogg, a UC Davis professor of hydrogeology...

1/11/2016

Originally published on Viewpoints: The Public Policy Institute of California Blog

With El Niño making an impressive new year’s debut, talk of drought has turned to worries about floods. How will the state’s drought-starved ecosystems adapt to the taps being turned on again? We talked with Joshua Viers, an ecological engineer at UC Merced, co-director of UC Water, and a member of the PPIC Water Policy Center research network, about California ecosystems’ response to flooding.

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12/28/2015

Originally published on the AGU Blogosphere Geospace Earth and space sicence by UC Santa Cruz science communication graduate student Lindzi Wessel.

Depleted groundwater supplies in the parched state of California have left many communities scrambling to secure water for the future. Now, researchers have a plan to recharge groundwater aquifers in Santa Cruz and Monterey counties with runoff captured from rainstorms. Using models that carefully characterize the region, they produced maps...

12/21/2015

Originally published on the UC Davis Egghead Blog by Kat Kerlin.

It’s hard to manage what you don’t measure.

UC Davis is playing a major role in solving California’s biggest water woes by joining forces across the UC system. The UC Water Security and Sustainability Research Initiative aims to account for all of California’s water, better understand how and where it flows, and help demonstrate how water can be managed differently to allow for greater water security.

To better...
12/12/2015

The American Geophysical Union is one of the largest scientific meetings and is convening in San Francisco, CA, December 14-18. UC Water will be sharing scientific findings every day. Follow along with @ucwater and #AGU15.

View all UC Water @ AGU 2015 presentations and posters:

bookletsingle-page   

UC Water posters will be shared on this site in January 2016. 

12/3/2015

 

Originally published by Environmental Monitor: Application and technology news for environmental professionals, this article features the work of UC Water collaborators Steven Glaser, Martha Conklin, Roger Bales and colleagues who established wireless technology to improve reservoir management. 

The Feather River in California is a main tributary of the Sacramento River. Fed by Lake Oroville to its north, the river runs for about 71 miles and is a large part of California’s...

12/2/2015

Originally published on Environmental Monitor: Application and technology news for environmental professionals, featuring the work of Steven Glaser who developed Metronome Systems workin the American River Hydrologic Observatory. 

The American River Hydrologic Observatory in California is the world’s largest wireless sensor network. But it wasn’t always that way.

The network, built with support from the National Science Foundation as part of the Southern Sierra Critical Zone...

11/17/2015

Originally published by Faith Kearns on The Confluence Blog.

How best to capture and store water for many different uses is a big question in California. After years of drought and now the looming possibility of a wet, El Niño-driven winter, safe-keeping any precipitation that does fall is a big priority for water managers. From reservoirs to tunnels to canals, the state's water infrastructure is vast and complicated. However, one approach with a lot of potential that has received...

11/13/2015

KQED Science covers The Secret Life of a Raindrop through focusing on the interdisciplinary network of studies on the critical zone--the zone where life meets rock. 

The Critical Zone Tree helps researchers trackwater that falls in the Sierra Nevada, throughthe forest and soils, to the valley. 

UC Merced professor and UC Water Director Roger Bales is also the lead Principal Investigator for the Southern Sierra Critical Zone Observatory. His work includes 200 sensors around a tree which...

10/28/2015

UC Water had a strong presence at the State Bar of California Environmental Law Conference at Yosemite. Three directors represented the project's multi-faceted approach through panel discussions and a field trip.  

Michael Kiparsky visited the high elevations to discuss groundwater resources. He shared his institutional expertise from the Wheeler Institute for Water Law and Policy at Berkeley Law in a panel, "Going Underground: Local Governance and Planning Under the Sustainable...

10/23/2015

 

UC Water Security and Sustainability Research Initiative doubled its drought expertise by funding $210,000 in new research proposals. 

UC Merced is the lead institution of UC Water, and the grant program enables research in new areas and deepens understanding of how water is accounted for and used in the state. 

UC Water brings the unbiased power of the UC system to the state’s water challenges. 

“These challenge grants broaden the integration of UC Water's...

10/20/2015
10/21/2015
Campus gets $1.5 million to work on hydropower and thermoelectric cooling systems — two pieces of the much larger water-energy puzzle. By Lorena Anderson, University Communications Quick Facts:  UC Merced is part of a massive new water-energy research consortium that includes five UC campus and Chinese scientists, among others.   UC Merced’s latest research institute, known as UC Water, drew the Department of Energy’s attention. The grant, along with matching...
10/19/2015

Michelle Sneed is the recipient of the prestigious David Keith Todd Distinguished Lectureship and conducts much of her research on subsidence near Merced. UC Merced and UC Water are pleased to host a public lecture on this important groundwater resources and local issue. 

Land Subsidence: The Lowdown on the Drawdown Michelle Sneed Tuesday, October 27, 6:30pmCalifornia RoomUC Merced Merced, California

Parking after 6pm is complimentary. 

Students, join Michelle for...

10/21/2015
September 25, 2015 Note: This story originally ran in the Fall 2015 issue of UC Merced Magazine. By Joel Patenaude California, long envied by the rest of the country for its climate, beauty and natural resources, is four years into a drought and in the midst of a water crisis a century in the making. With Gov. Jerry Brown imposing mandatory water restrictions on residents, the state’s staggeringly complex water woes have taken the sheen off at least some of the...
9/17/2015

UC Merced celebrates A Decade of Excellence in the latest issue of the magazine of the University of California, Merced. It also celebrates three UC Merced researchers who lead the UC Water project: Director Roger Bales, Co-Director Joshua Viers, and UCM Campus Lead Martha Conklin.

The article highlights how data is at the center of water management: The drought is considered a crisis due to lack of water, but it has illustrated how the lack of information to appropriately manage the...

7/21/2015

The American Geophysical Union (AGU) is holding its 2015 Fall Meeting this December 14-18. AGU invites researchers to consider submitting an abstract to the following broadly designed special session on Western U.S. groundwater management (Session ID#: 9147). The deadline is August 5th.

Drought, Groundwater Management, and Long-term Groundwater Sustainability in the Western United States: Assessment, Monitoring, Modeling, Planning, Management, and Policy

Much of the Western...

7/9/2015

Some of those concerned with the groundwater debate maintain that flood irrigation of crops can be an effective way of refilling aquifers.

The University of California Cooperative Extension in Stanislaus County is working on a pilot project to test the theory. The study could advance our understanding of how aquifers are replenished and show how agriculture could contribute to recharging groundwater in Stanislaus and other counties in the San Joaquin Valley.

Groundwater may...

6/14/2015
June 14, 2015 By Jenny Ta and Joshua Viers It seems inevitable that increasing numbers of California farmers will see their claims to surface water suspended this growing season as the drought persists into a fourth year. The State Water Resources Control Board said as much Friday (June 12) when it extended drought-related prohibitions on river diversions to irrigators with rights dating to 1903 in the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta and its watersheds. The order marked the first...
5/8/2015
California’s water board voted Tuesday to impose new rules that would reduce the state’s urban water use by 25 percent, as mandated by Gov. Jerry Brown at the beginning of April. By requiring towns and cities to cut back, the state expects to save about 1.3 million acre-feet of water over the next nine months. Rationing in urban areas will be tiered. Cities and towns that have already been conserving water will not have to cut as much as areas that have not. But the state has yet to...
11/10/2015
April 9, 2015California’s groundwater is being rapidly depleted because cities and farms extract more than is replenished naturally, compacting local aquifers and decreasing supply in some places in the Central Valley. And, it turns out, levees placed along rivers in the late 1800s and early 1900s to protect farms and cities from floods are actually hurting farmers’ and residents’ ability to access water. But UC Merced Professor Josh Viers and colleagues found an engineering solution to...
4/2/2015
8/12/2015
By Lorena Anderson, UC Merced Communications UC Merced Professor Joshua Viers has been named a member of the new Public Policy Institute of California (PPIC) Water Policy Center, established to help meet the state's urgent need for timely information and innovative water management solutions.Viers is an expert in water resources management with UC Merced’s School of Engineering, conducting research on issues related to the intersection of climate, water, energy, food and the environment using...
9/25/2015
February 23, 2015Armando Quintero, longtime development director, will continue his work building relationships and supporting faculty researchers in UC Merced instituteQuick Facts: The Sierra Nevada Research Institute was the first research institute established at UC Merced. Quintero has a long history of developing partnerships with supporters and developing new programs. The institute has more than 35 affiliated researchers focusing on sustainability, the ecosystem, water, drought, climate...
2/22/2014
5/30/2015
Two founding faculty members at UC Merced won prestigious awards totaling an anticipated $5 million to continue intercampus research into a sustainable future for the state and nation Quick Facts: UC Merced received two of only 18 highly competitive University of California grants.Money will support solar and water research.UC Merced anticipates receiving more than $5 million. MERCED, Calif. — Research into sustainable water supplies and viable solar energy solutions won the University of...