Environmental & Water Resources Institute (EWRI) Symposium POSTPONED

Forwarded from EWRI

Sacramento Chapter, Environmental & Water Resources Institute; American Society of Civil Engineers; in coordination with WateReuse California Annual Conference

Back to the Future

California’s New System Yield – A Paradigm Shift

Increasing System Yield in the Face of Uncertainty – Protecting the Future Beneficial Use of Water



With the prescient issues regarding the BDCP, Delta Flow Criteria, and Water Bond (election-related lead-up issues) in such a high state of flux and capturing much of the water industry decision-making attention, the EWRI/ASCE has decided to postpone its scheduled March 27th Symposium to later in the year.  We feel that this best preserves our unique topic and provides an increased opportunity for all interested persons to fully participate later in the year.

We will still be preparing a White Paper to the Governor’s Office this spring that will capture leading climate change threats to California system yield based on current Reclamation, DWR, CCAWWG, and academic research, and commenting upon on the potential immediate and long-term implications to water users when added to increasingly stringent regulatory platforms.  For those wishing to participate in reviewing or contributing to this paper, we would of course welcome your input.

Full refunds will be provided through EWRI/ASCE.


Between two expert panels, discussions will focus on the State’s existing system yield, its current status and limitations. System yield is the foundation for all California water resources management actions. Yet it is being both diminished and shifted temporally through a variety of causal factors, forced climate change being paramount among those stressors. This Symposium will discuss those changes, the potential risks to existing entitlements, current inadequacies in infrastructure and operations in identifying and allocating that yield, how to improve system function in order to create multiple resource benefits (e.g., enhanced reservoir coldwater pool assets, energy generation through pumped storage hydro, ASR programs using surplus flood/stormwater flows, ag/urban recycled water, etc.), and how the current new era of water supply development can best meet this paradigm shift. From a use perspective, poignant questions will be raised such as, “Why are contractors ever shorted when, on average, only about 40 percent of the annual precipitation is retained for managed use?” More specifically, why, for example, should Central Valley farmers continue to take cuts in deliveries when excess river flows, above those required for minimum instream needs, occur every winter, especially from our source area watersheds? Can this paradigm shift provide the new hydrological basis where, “No Farmer Is Left Behind?” Certainly, the State’s hydrology has long supported that contention. We will also raise awareness on the issue of water rights by asking such questions as, “Are long-standing water rights at risk due to the increasing demands being placed on system yield from population growth, environmental regulation and the anticipated diminishment from climatic perturbations?” A worthy inquiry since, at present, there exists virtually no information on this topic and many water users are beginning to ask, “Will ‘climate change’ be the silent killer of existing water rights?”

Leading contemporary themes from around the world will help provide fresh perspectives for these candid discussions and ultimately ask “Is California’s hydrology really sustainable without a deliberate paradigm shift in how we view storage and manage excess outflow?” This Symposium is intended to ask the hard questions based on a fundamental reaffirmation of contemporary system hydrology. Our acceptance of non-stationarity in the hydrologic baseline will hopefully, be the first step, in setting a new template for real water policy change. A White Paper of the discussion points and recommendations will be prepared by the EWRI/ASCE and officially submitted to the Governor’s Office following the Symposium.

Click here for more information, program and registration form:  http://www.floodplain.org/cmsAdmin/uploads/Back_to_the_Future_Program_and_sign_up-1.pdf