Economic and policy drivers of agricultural water desalination in California’s central valley

Water desalination is a proposed solution for mitigating the effects of drought, soil salinization, and the ecological impacts of agricultural drainage. In this study, we assess the public and private costs and benefits of distributed desalination in the Central Valley (CV) of California. We...

Simulation Modeling to Secure Environmental Flows in a Diversion Modified Flow Regime

This paper describes the development and application of a spreadsheet model to evaluate effects of water management on diversion modified flow regimes, enabling the exploration of novel ways to meet proposed environmental flow standards. Mill Creek, a northern California river with an altered...

Pulsed Flow Wave Attenuation on a Regulated Montane River

This study investigated the effects of hydrograph shape on attenuation of regulated pulsed flow events below a hydropower dam by categorizing and modelling the downstream movement of representative pulses on the upper Tuolumne River in the Sierra Nevadas of California, USA. We extracted...

Management of the Spring Snowmelt Recession in Regulated Systems

In an effort to restore predictable ecologically relevant spring snowmelt recession flow patterns in rivers regulated by dams, this study defined a methodology by which spring flow regimes can be modeled in regulated systems from the quantifiable characteristics of spring snowmelt recessions in...

Hydrologic Monitoring and Modeling for Management and Restoration Analysis

The objective of this project is to better understand the interface of topography and hydrology on the UC Merced Vernal Pools and Grassland Reserve. Using a combination of empirical data and model development, our team seeks to better understand how water moves throughout the preserve.

Journal of Water Resources Planning and Management Accepts Two Vicelab Publications

The American Society of Civil Engineers has accepted two Vicelab papers for publication in the Journal of Water Resources Planning and Management. The first is a technical paper, Climate-adaptive Water Year Typing for Instream Flow Requirements in California's Sierra Nevada, authored by David E. Rheinheimer , Sarah Null , and Joshua Viers . The second is a case study, ​Simulation Modeling to Secure Environmental Flows in a Diversion Modified Flow Regime, authored by Jenny Ta , Rodd Kelsey , Jeanette Howard , Jay Lund , Samuel Sandoval-Solis and Joshua Viers . The papers are currently in the...

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Cosumnes Research Group

The Cosumnes River is the only free-flowing river on the west slope of the Sierra Nevada, and because of its natural flow regime it has become the centerpiece for decades-long research on the benefit of floodplain reconnection for the purposes of ecological restoration and preservation of ecosystem services, such as local groundwater recharge, flood wave attenuation, and temporal spawning habitat for native fishes, such as splittail, and rearing habitat for juvenile anadromous salmonids, such as chinook salmon.

Securing Environmental Water: Mill Creek flows

Stream flow is critical to sustaining riverine plants and animals, many of which have adapted to historic flow patterns. These species include the foothill yellow-legged frog, whose reproduction is timed with the annual spring snowmelt, and Pacific salmon that migrate up the Sacramento and spawn in the creek. Mill Creek, a tributary of the Sacramento River, hosts one of the highest elevation salmon-spawning habitats in California and is one of the few streams that still support threatened spring-run Chinook salmon.

Vernal Pool Landscape Patterns: FRAGSTATS

California’s vernal pools provide habitat for a suite of rare and endemic species and its continued loss highlights the importance of conservation and mitigation efforts. Due to the unique geologic and hydrologic characteristics required of vernal pool habitat, mitigation projects often result in the creation of new pools in natural vernal pool systems. However, little is known about the impact this alteration in spatial pattern of vernal pools may have on landscape ecology.

Assessing the Value of Improved Hydrologic Forecasting for Hydropower in the Sierra Nevada at Multiple Spatial Scales

Increased accuracy of snowpack measurements can potentially greatly improve planning for rest-of-year water allocations, particularly when coupled with improvements in hydrologic modeling skill. In California, the degree to which investments in improved hydrologic information systems, such as...

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