• low water at shasta lake bridge bay marina

    Lake Shasta - Bridge Bay Marina, Sept. 3, 2014. Photos taken by UC Davis Center for Watershed Sciences lab and field director Carson Jeffres.

  • low water at shasta lake bridge bay marina

    Lake Shasta - Bridge Bay Marina, Sept. 3, 2014. (Carson Jeffres)

  • low water at shasta lake bridge bay marina

    Lake Shasta - Bridge Bay Marina, Sept. 3, 2014. (Carson Jeffres)

  • low water at shasta lake bridge bay marina

    Lake Shasta - Bridge Bay Marina, Sept. 3, 2014. (Carson Jeffres)

Drought Research

Scientists work to save endangered desert mammal

drought endagered Amarosa voles being bred at UC Davis School of Veterinary Medicine

Drought has dried up rare marshes of the Mojave Desert, home to the Amargosa voles. The small rodents are now near extinction. But a new captive breeding program at the UC Davis School of Veterinary Medicine may change things. Early results have been encouraging.

Water researchers share findings at Bay-Delta Science conference

Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta

Several scholars with the UC Davis Center for Watershed Sciences are presenting research at the Bay-Delta Science conference this week in Sacramento. Topics include ecosystems, fish populations and drought, and wetlands restoration in the north part of the Delta. Details in this Drought Watch Report.

Hoping for the Best - Preparing for the Worst

Sheep rancher Dan Macon talks about his preparations for what could be another dry winter in this segment of Voices from the Drought, produced by the UC Davis Department of Plant Sciences:

Drought and the bean stalk

new outdoor greenhouse at UC Davis grows drought tolerant beans

UC Davis researchers are using a special outdoor greenhouse to help develop a new generation of bean varieties that can survive drought conditions. Find out more about how the UC Davis Department of Plant Sciences is breeding a better bean.

Water Education

Ranching and California's drought workshop

California drought monitor

Learn about the Drought Monitor, and how this map may help you quality for drought releif assistance. Results of current studies about how ranchers are coping with the drought, and the newest livestock drought feeding strategies will also be shared. 

This November 7th workship and webcast is being hosted by the California Rangeland Watershed Laboratory at the UC Davis Conference Center.  Details and registration.


Your sustainable backyard: Low water use landscaping - UC Davis

This workshop will provide an overview of various topics of interest to both Master Gardeners and Garden Enthusiasts. It will feature innovative ideas on how to save water and still have a beautiful landscape.

When: Saturday, Nov. 8, 8 a.m.- 3 p.m.

Where: University of California, Davis, 1001 Giedt Hall


Presented by the California Center for Urban Horticulture at UC Davis

Campus Water

New UC Davis housing complex saves water and energy

bioswale at Tercero North apartments

A bioswale at the new Tercero Residence Halls 

More than 1,300 students are experiencing the latest in sustainability as residents of the new Tercero North Residence Halls this fall.

The complex features a water and air supply system heated with steam. 

Drought busters include a 30 percent savings for inside water, and a 50 percent reduction in outside water required for landscaping.  

Plus, all buildings are individually metered for water and energy use.

UC Davis leaks logo

Did you know…

You can help the campus save water by reporting leaks, broken fixtures, sprinkler malfunctions and other water waste to Facilities Management? 

UC Davis winery is stingy on water

Drought and climate change are among the wine industry's top issues according to a UC Davis survey of California winery operators

Many said they are already implementing a number of strategies to use water more efficiently.

Chik Brennaman is the winery manager and winemaker for the UC Davis Department of Viticulture and Enology. He says it takes a lot of water to make wine:

At UC Davis, Brennaman says they recycle rainwater:

The campus winery is designed to capture and reuse 90 percent of the winery’s processing water.


New tool identifies high-priority dams for fish survival

Long Valley Dam

Long Valley Dam on the Owens River (Stephen Volpin)

Scientists have identified 181 California dams that may need to increase water flows to protect native fish downstream, according to a new UC Davis study.

“It is unpopular in many circles to talk about providing more water for fish during this drought, but to the extent we care about not driving native fish to extinction, we need a strategy to keep our rivers flowing below dams,” said lead author Ted Grantham, a former postdoctoral researcher at UC Davis.

A rarely enforced state law, California Fish and Game Code 5937, requires dam operators to release “sufficient water” to keep fish downstream “in good condition.”  For example, UC Davis invoked the regulation in a series of lawsuits in the 1980s that led to higher flow releases for native fish in Putah Creek in Yolo and Solano counties. 

UC Davis fish biologist and study co-author Peter Moyle describes the history of how Putah Creek got its flow back:

UC Davis Experts

Jay Lund, director of the Center for Watershed Sciences at UC Davis, can discuss the impacts of drought on California’s water supply.

Richard Howitt, professor emeritus of agricultural and resource economics, can talk about the economic effects of drought on agriculture.

Thomas Harter is a hydro-geologist and expert on groundwater supplies, and on how human activities and agriculture affect groundwater quality. 

Water Calculator

Water calculator from the department of water resources

See how your home use stacks up and learn how to conserve.