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Comparing Futures for the Sacramento - San Joaquin Delta

Series: Freshwater Ecology Series Volume: 3

By: J Lund, E Hanak, W Fleenor, W Bennett, R Howitt, J Mount and P Moyle

256 pages, 26 col illus, maps, tabs

University of California Press

Hardback | Feb 2010 | #183790 | ISBN-13: 9780520261976
Availability: Usually dispatched within 4 days Details
NHBS Price: £30.95 $43/€35 approx

About this book

An ecosystem in freefall, a shrinking water supply for cities and agriculture, an antiquated network of failure-prone levees - this is the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta, the major hub of California's water system.

Written by a team of independent water experts, this analysis of the latest data evaluates proposed solutions to the delta's myriad problems. Through in-depth economic and ecological analysis, the authors find that the current policy of channeling water exports through the delta is not sustainable for any interest. Employing a peripheral canal - conveying water around the delta instead of through it - as part of a larger habitat and water management plan appears to be the best strategy to maintain both a high-quality water supply and at the same time improve conditions for native fish and wildlife.

This important assessment includes integrated analysis of long term ecosystem and water management options and demonstrates how issues such as climate change and sustainability will shape the future.

Indispensable for anyone who wants a comprehensive grasp of California water issues.--Sierra "Recommended."--Choice "[An] in-depth economic and ecological analysis."--Jrnl of the American Water Resources Association "I highly recommend this book to anyone wishing to verse themselves in the issues facing the Delta."--Wetlands


Contributors ix Preface xi Acknowledgments xv Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta and Delta Islands Maps xix 1. Introduction 1 What Is the Delta? 3 Why the Delta Matters to Californians 6 The Delta in Crisis 8 Responding to the Crisis 10 Four Central Issues 11 Searching for a Soft Landing 14 2. The Legacies of Delta History 17 Pre-European Delta: Fluctuating Salinity and Lands 17 Reclamation: Foundations of the Modern Delta Economy 19 Big Water Projects Transform the Delta to a Freshwater Body 28 Environmental Concerns Change the Course of Delta Policy Debates 33 The CALFED Era: Testing the Limits of Consensus 35 New Initiatives and New Troubles in the Delta 38 The Lessons of Delta History 40 3. Managing the Inevitable 43 Introduction 43 Drivers of Change 44 Managing or Resisting Change 49 A Future Different from the Past 56 4. Delta Water Exports and Strategies 57 State and Regional Use of Delta Water Supplies 57 Four Water Export Strategies 61 Exporting Through the Delta 62 Exporting Around the Delta 64 Dual Conveyance 66 Ending Delta Exports 67 Water Exports and the Delta's Economy 68 5. Hydrodynamics and the Salinity of Delta Waters 69 Modeling Tools and Approach 70 Comparing Scenarios 71 No Exports and Unimpaired Flows 72 Consequences of Sea-Level Rise 76 Consequences of Island Flooding 78 Consequences of Peripheral Canal Exports 82 The Limits of Current Knowledge 88 Conclusions 91 6. What a Changing Delta Means for the Ecosystem and Its Fishes 93 Basic Premises for Rebuilding the Delta Ecosystem 94 The Role of Habitat Diversity 95 Fish Species Responses to Water Export Strategies 96 Attributes of an Ecosystem Solution 105 Conclusions 108 7. Economics of Changing Water Supply and Quality 111 Statewide Adaptations to Delta Water Management 111 Costs of Providing More Water for the Environment 115 Urban and Agricultural Water Quality 120 Implications for Export Management Alternatives 123 Costs from Unrepaired Delta Islands 124 8. Policy and Regulatory Challenges 127 Funding Principles for a Soft Landing 128 Softening the Costs of Adjustment 133 Bringing Delta Land Use into the Fold 136 Regulating Water Quality in a Changing Delta 139 Anticipating Levee Failures 142 Including Upstream Diverters in a Delta Solution 143 Protecting Endangered Species in the Face of Uncertainty 145 Governance Safeguards for a Peripheral Canal 147 Governance and Decision-making for a New Delta 149 Conclusion 150 9. Decision Analysis for Delta Exports 153 Decision Analysis Applied to the Delta Export Alternatives 153 Information Needed for Decision Analysis 156 Comparing Water Export Alternatives 158 Implementation Issues 162 The Timing of Delta Decisions and Consequences 165 Conclusion 166 10. Charting the Future for a Changing Delta 169 The Changing Delta Landscape 169 Fish and the Delta Ecosystem 171 Long-Term Water Export Alternatives 173 Governance, Regulation, and Finance 175 Navigating Change 177 Appendix: Estimation of Probabilities, Costs, and Reductions for Delta Outcomes and Strategies 179 Acronyms and Abbreviations 191 Notes 193 Glossary 203 References 207 Index 219

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Jay R. Lund is Professor of Environmental Engineering and Director of the Center for Watershed Sciences. William E. Fleenor is a Research Engineer in the Environmental Dynamics Laboratory. William A. Bennett is a Research Scientist with the John Muir Institute of the Environment. Richard E. Howitt is Professor and Chair of Agricultural and Resource Economics. Jeffrey F. Mount is Professor of Applied Geosciences. Peter B. Moyle is Professor in the Department of Wildlife, Fish, and Conservation Biology. They are all affiliated with the Center for Watershed Sciences, University of California, Davis. Ellen Hanak is Director of Research and Thomas C. Sutton Chair in Policy Research at the Public Policy Institute of California.

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