The Science of Sustainability

Tag: delta

Controversial California Water Plan Takes Shape

Controversial California Water Plan Takes Shape

The latest draft fails to mollify opponents to a $23 billion-dollar plan for California’s trickiest water problem: the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta.

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California's Deadlocked Delta: Is Carbon Farming the Future?

California's Deadlocked Delta: Is Carbon Farming the Future?

California’s Delta has a rich agricultural legacy, but farming there can be a risky business. Dozens of farms have been flooded over the past half century as aging levees have collapsed. Now, scientists are encouraging farmers to switch to a new crop. Instead of growing vegetables, they’d grow something that has all but disappeared in the Delta: wetlands.

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California's Deadlocked Delta: Interactive Map

California's Deadlocked Delta: Interactive Map

What did the Delta look like 200 years ago? See an interactive map of the historical habitat and present day landscape, as well as the old photos, maps and journals used by historical ecologists to answer that question.

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California's Deadlocked Delta: Can We Bring Back What We've Lost?

California's Deadlocked Delta: Can We Bring Back What We've Lost?

California's Delta is a far cry from what it once was. About 97% of its historic marshes have been lost and scientists aren’t quite sure what the Delta once looked like. Now, a Bay Area group is working to reconstruct it through ecological detective work.

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The Good and Not-So-Good News About California Salmon

The Good and Not-So-Good News About California Salmon

Given half a chance, salmon can not only survive, but thrive. Fortunately or unfortunately for them, they now depend on us for that chance.

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California's Deadlocked Delta: Can it Be Fixed?

California's Deadlocked Delta: Can it Be Fixed?

The Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta has been the subject of a decades-long water war, but most Californians have never heard of it. Why is it so important? And can the state ever break the water deadlock?

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Different Deltas: Q&A with Jason Peltier of Westlands Water District

Different Deltas: Q&A with Jason Peltier of Westlands Water District

QUEST Radio Reporter Lauren Sommer interviews Jason Peltier, Deputy General Manager of Westlands Water District, a 600,000 acre agricultural district on the west side of the San Joaquin valley.

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"Whiskey’s for Drinking, Water’s for Fighting About"

"Whiskey’s for Drinking, Water’s for Fighting About"

A stark symbol of our quest to bend nature to our will, the Delta remains the epicenter of an epic drama of seemingly insurmountable political battles and power struggles, pitting north against south; farmer against environmentalist.

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Different Deltas: Q&A with Barry Nelson of the Natural Resources Defense Council

Different Deltas: Q&A with Barry Nelson of the Natural Resources Defense Council

QUEST Radio Reporter Lauren Sommer interviews Barry Nelson, Senior Policy Analyst with the Natural Resources Defense Council about the pressures on the Delta ecosystem and the competing plans to manage them.

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What is California’s Delta?

What is California’s Delta?

If you’re like most Californians, you’ve probably never heard of the Delta or why it’s important to the state’s economy and wildlife. In three minutes, we’ll explain how the Delta is a key part of California’s water supply and why it’s been the focus of a decades-long water battle.

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Producer's Notes: Big Break Regional Shoreline Science Hike

Producer's Notes: Big Break Regional Shoreline Science Hike

For our latest Science Hike, we visited Big Break Regional Shoreline in Oakley, California. This area is often referred to as the "Inland Coast." However, wishful thinking aside, the name Big Break has little to do with roaring surf.

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Producer's Notes: Going UP: Sea Level Rise in San Francisco Bay

Producer's Notes: Going UP: Sea Level Rise in San Francisco Bay

There is no question that sea levels have been steadily rising, and will continue to rise at an increased rate in the future.  So the real question is not, "Will it rise?" but, "How MUCH will it rise, and what can we do about it?"

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Reporter's Notes: Delta Predators

Reporter's Notes: Delta Predators

Striped bass are almost a naturalized citizen to the Delta, but farmers hope to blame the big fish for the plummeting numbers of endangered fish.

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State of Thirst: California's Water Future

State of Thirst: California's Water Future

Are we in danger of running out of water? California's population is growing by 600,000 people a year, but much of the state receives as much annual rainfall as Morocco. With fish populations crashing, global warming, and the demands of the country's largest agricultural industry, the pressures on our water supply are increasing.

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A fishy odyssey through the delta

A fishy odyssey through the delta

Talk about a wild ride. Every year, millions of fish make a strange and harrowing detour through the Skinner Fish Facility, part of the State Water Project's facilities in the Delta. In my last post, I wrote about my visit to the Banks Pumping Plant, whose giant pumps slurp water from the Delta to help […]

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Where Water Runs Uphill

Where Water Runs Uphill

Harvey O. Banks Pumping PlantI'm standing in the Harvey O. Banks Pumping Plant, part of the State Water Project (SWP), looking at a set of huge pumps that slurp water from the Delta and hoist it 244 feet to the mouth of the California Aqueduct. The sensation is a little akin to the how I […]

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Where have all the salmon gone?

Where have all the salmon gone?

Run down Recent news headlines have been full of Chinook salmon, but sadly the same cannot be said of Central Valley waterways. This fall, only about 90,000 Central Valley Chinook salmon returned to their home rivers and streams to spawn, down from more than 800,000 just a few years ago. Like most salmon, Central Valley […]

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