Central Valley brown hills and orchard

Drought Research

Keeping trees healthy during drought

Japanese maple tree growing in California yard

Many Californians are letting their lawns die to save water.  Some are adding drought tolerant landscaping. But what about the yard trees?

Dr. Loren Oki, UC Cooperative Extension landscape horticulture specialist at UC Davis has some watering tips in this Drought Watch report.

UC Davis study: California has given away rights to far more water than it has

water canal in Merced County

California has allocated five times more surface water than the state actually has, making it hard for regulators to tell whose supplies should be cut during the drought.

That's what Ted Grantham with the UC Davis Center for Watershed Sciences found in a comprehensive study of the state’s water-rights database, saying the time is ripe for tightening water-use accounting.

The hunt for Red Hills roach

A hunch sent fish biologists from UC Davis to a remote slice of Tuolumne County in search of a tiny fish, pushed toward extinction by the California drought.

The mission: find the Red Hills roach to prove it has survived the shrinking waters of Horton Creek and Six-bit Gulch.

Success!  After hiking through dry riverbeds and thick brush, Peter Moyle and Rebecca Quiñones found at least 200 roach in shallow Horton Creek. The discovery eased fears that this would be the first extinction of a species because of the drought.

Listen to Moyle describe the Red Hills roach in detail.

Water Education

Get ahead or get parched: Six ways to survive the drought

Workshops for landscape irrigation managers are scheduled in Truckee on September 5. Registration.

Presented by the UC Davis College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences and the California Center for Urban Horticulture.

Convert your water-hungry Lawn into a drought-tolerant landscape

What: Workshop

When: Thursday, September 18, 8 a.m.- 3 p.m.

Where: Vanderhoef Studio at the UC Davis Mondavi Center for Performing Arts (MAP


Presented by the California Native Grassland Association

Water Calculator

Water Calculator

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

Campus Water

Low water, low mow grass thriving

Did you know that a water-stingy type of grass is being grown outside the UC Davis Graduate School of Management?

It's called UC Verde Buffalograss, and it only needs to be watered once a week, even in the summer.

Drought a factor in arboretum fish deaths

Lack of oxygen, hot temperatures and low water levels combined to kill dozens of fish in the UC Davis arboretum.

More in this Dateline UC Davis update.

UC Davis secures future water source

UC Davis is entering into a contract to receive water from the Woodland-Davis surface water project. The move is a way for the campus to pick up an additional water source to suppliment underwater wells, which have been impacted by the drought. UC Davis will pay $20 million to help fund the project and construct water pipelines.

Arboretum All-Stars featured at capitol

Arboretum all-stars at state capitol in support of Assembly bill 2104

(L-R) Ellen Zagory, UC Davis Arboretum, Senator Jim Nielsen, Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez, Cindy Tuck, Association of California Water Agencies

The UC Davis Arboretum All-Stars shared the podium with lawmakers urging support for Assembly Bill 2104.  It would prohibit homeowner associations from fining occupants who want to install drought-resistant plants and landscaping in their yards.


Crush gets off to an early start

The crush is under way at many California wineries, including the UC Davis teaching and research winery.

It's about two weeks early this year due to warm weather and drought.

Learn how wineries are conserving water in this Drought Watch report.

Related:  Napa, Sonoma wineries mop up after quake (The Press Democrat)

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. KCBS In Depth interview.

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

Mark Schwartz, director of the John Muir Institute of the Environment, can discuss the impact of drought on wildfires.  Cal Fire info.