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...

Meeting ecosystem needs while satisfying human demands

Regulated rivers worldwide are managed to meet human water demands, including irrigation and hydropower, but resulting flows often fail to support downstream ecosystems. To further confound these management challenges, global climate warming and commensurate hydroclimatic alteration are

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Assessing Ecosystem Services and Multifunctionality for Vineyard Systems

Vineyards shape important economic, cultural, and ecological systems in many temperate biomes. Like other agricultural systems, they can be multifunctional landscapes that not only produce grapes, but also for example serve as wildlife habitat, sequester carbon, and are places of rich traditions...

DATE: A handheld co-robotic device for automated tuning of emitters to enable precision irrigation

Agriculture accounts for 85% of the world's freshwater usage. Drip irrigation significantly reduces water usage and has been adopted by many farms, orchards, and vineyards. Rubber or PVC tubing is fitted with thousands of drip emitters whose water pressure and flow are controlled by a small...

Climate-Adaptive Water Year Typing for Instream Flow Requirements in California’s Sierra Nevada

Water year types (WYTs), whereby years are classified by river runoff quantity compared to historical runoff, are one tool to help make major water management decisions. Increasingly, these decisions include instream flow requirements (IFRs) below dams for river ecosystem management. However,...

NRI-USDA: RAPID

Robot-Assisted Precision Irrigation Delivery (RAPID) is a co-robotic approach using a team of humans and robots that move through farms fields, enabling farmers to adjust low-cost drip irrigation emitters at the plant level based on water use data and ground conditions. Deployment of this technology is aimed at increasing irrigation precision and plant yield. The project involves the design, development, and evaluation of a series of prototypes of low-cost, robust, co-robotic systems compatible with existing drip irrigation infrastructure in vineyards and orchards.

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.

Preliminary Optimization for Spring-Run Chinook Salmon Environmental Flows in Lassen Foothill Watersheds

Stream flow controls physical and ecological processes in rivers that support freshwater ecosystems and biodiversity vital for services that humans depend on. This master variable has been impaired by human activities like dam operations, water diversions, and flood control infrastructure....

100 years of California’s water rights system: patterns, trends and uncertainty

For 100 years, California's State Water Resources Control Board and its predecessors have been responsible for allocating available water supplies to beneficial uses, but inaccurate and incomplete accounting of water rights has made the state ill-equipped to satisfy growing societal demands for...

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