Making the Best of the Poor Conditions in this Critically Dry Year

By Jessica Law | July 23, 2021 | Sacramento Water Forum

Severe drought conditions are back in California. Unfortunately, that means the Lower American River is headed into what may be some of the worst summer conditions we’ve seen on the river in recent memory.

I won’t sugarcoat it. Conditions in the river will be bad. However, the Water Forum and our partners are working hard to ensure conditions are as good as they can possibly be, and to minimize harm to fish and habitat.

What to expect in the coming months

PHOTO CREDIT: DWR, Lower American River 2014

As you may have seen on the news, we began this year with a near-normal snowpack. In most years, the snowpack melts and feeds our lakes and rivers. This year, the snowpack disappeared in the span of several weeks, soaking into the dry soil or evaporating—perhaps foreshadowing what may turn out to be the case study for climate change impacts on our water supplies and environment.

Click here to read the article in full.

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Airport South Industrial Project: ECOS Comments

On June 28, 2021, the Environmental Council of Sacramento, Habitat 2020, Sierra Club Sacramento Group, Friends of the Swainson’s Hawk and Former Sacramento City Mayor Heather Fargo submitted a joint letter on the Airport South Industrial Project.

Below is an excerpt from our letter.

We urge you to remove Item 9 from the Consent Calendar and vote to deny the staff’s recommendation. The Resolution before you conflicts with and interferes with the success of the 2003 Natomas Basin Habitat Conservation Plan (“NBHCP”) the City’s efforts to reach carbon zero status, and General Plan policies. The City’s approval of the proposed annexation and development would constitute a breach of the City’s obligation under the 2003 Natomas Basin Habitat Conservation Plan to not annex or develop outside of the NBHCP permit area, and could lead to revocation of the City’s Incidental Take Permit under the Natomas Basin Habitat Conservation Plan.

Click here to read the letter in full.

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Drought Conditions and the Sac Water Forum

On June 1, 2021, Habitat 2020 hosted a presentation/discussion led by Jessica Law, Executive Director of the Sacramento Water Forum.

Jessica’s presentation was focused on the projected conditions of the Folsom Reservoir and the American River as we move through the current drought year and what these conditions portend for the Lower American River, the fisheries in it, and the environment around it. Jessica provided us the results of ongoing analysis done by her consulting staff on water flows and temperatures projected to occur that result from the Bureau’s reservoir operations including their impacts on the fisheries. She also briefed us on discussions she is having with the Bureau and other agencies involved in river operations. finally, Jessica discussed the Folsom Reservoir and American River operations, flows, and temperature objectives the Water Forum is working to have the Bureau and others adopt for this year.

Click here for a video recording of the presentation on Google Drive.

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