UC Davis Drought Experts 2014

Water Management and Planning

Water supplies and delivery systems

Jay Lund, a professor of civil and environmental engineering and director of the Center for Watershed Science at UC Davis, can discuss the short-term and prolonged impacts of drought on California’s water supply. He has particularly expertise in water policy and the relationship between Northern California water supply and and water delivery to the Southern California. He wrote CALVIN (California Value Integrated Network), a computer model that analyzes state water supplies and delivery systems, and projects impacts of changes in the systems. Contact: Jay Lund, Civil and Environmental Engineering, (530) 752-5671, jrlund@ucdavis.edu.  KCBS In Depth interview on drought.

Planning and managing water resources

Samuel Sandoval, an assistant professor and UC Cooperative Extension specialist, is an expert in water resources planning and management. He works with scientists, engineers, environmentalists, system operators and decision makers to integrate ideas into policies and quantify the benefits and drawbacks. He shares his expertise and passion for quantitative water planning with students through his course entitled Water, Science and Management, in which he demonstrates to student tools and methods to design sustainable water resources systems. Contact: Samuel Sandoval, (530) 754-9646 samsandoval@ucdavis.edu.

Agricultural Impacts

Economic impact on agriculture and consumers

Daniel Sumner is the Frank H. Buck professor of agricultural and resource economics and the director of the UC Agricultural Issues Center. He can discuss the impact of drought on the economy, commodity and food markets, food availability and consumer food prices. He can explain how farmers are likely to adjust the crops they grow as well as how food prices will be affected in California and around the nation. Contact: Daniel Sumner, Agricultural and Resource Economics,  (530) 752-1668, dasumner@ucdavis.edu.

Water economics and markets

Richard Howitt, professor emeritus of agricultural and resource economics, has extensively studied the economics of California water management, including the allocation of water resources by market mechanisms. He has served on advisory boards for the California Department of Water Resources and the U.S. Academy of Sciences.  Contact: Richard Howitt, Agricultural and Resource Economics, (530) 752-1521, howitt@primal.ucdavis.edu.

Drought impacts for ranchers

Ken Tate is a professor and UC Cooperative Extension Rangeland Watershed Specialist, as well as the Russell L. Rustici Endowed Chair in Rangeland Watershed Sciences. He and postdoctoral researcher Leslie Roche work closely with ranchers to help them cope with the drought, which has severely impacted California’s 41 million acres of rangeland. This rangeleand is vitally important as a source of livestock forage, wildlife habitat, plant diversity, and clean water, has been hit hard by drought.  Tate and Roche work with affected ranchers to cope with drought’s impacts. Read about this work at the Rangeland Watershed Laboratory website. Contact: Ken Tate, Rangeland Watershed Laboratory (530) 754-8988, kwtate@ucdavis.edu.

Groundwater management and resources

Thomas Harter is an expert on the importance of rainwater for recharging groundwater supplies, and on how human activities and agriculture affect groundwater quality. He holds the Robert M. Hagan Endowed Chair in Water Management and Policy, is a professor in the Department of Land, Air and Water Resources and a UC Cooperative Extension groundwater hydrologist. He works with the agricultural industry and government agencies to manage groundwater resources. Contact: Thomas Harter, Land, Air and Water Resources, 530-752-2709, thharter@ucdavis.edu.

Graham Fogg is professor of Hydrogeology in the UC Davis Department of Land, Air and Water Resources. His research interests include groundwater management, groundwater contaminant transport, groundwater basin characterization, long-term sustainability of regional groundwater quality, vulnerability of aquifers to non-point-source groundwater contaminants. He was recently featured in a Sacramento Bee story about the lack of access to California's well-drilling logs. Contact:  Graham E. Fogg, 530-752-6810, gefogg@ucdavis.edu

Fish and Wildlife Impacts

Watershed management and fish

Peter Moyle, a professor of wildlife, fish and conservation biology, is an authority on Pacific Coast native fishes. He has monitored California native fish populations through droughts for more than three decades and has documented the declining status of many native species in California, as well as the invasions of alien species. In a study published in 2013, he and fellow scientists determined that climate change and human-caused degradation to aquatic habitats threatens extinction for 82 percent of California’s native fish. Contact: Peter Moyle, Wildlife, Fish and Conservation Biology, (530) 752-6355, pbmoyle@ucdavis.edu.

Effects of water diversions on fish

Lisa Thompson, a Cooperative Extension specialist in the Department of Wildlife, Fish and Conservation Biology, can discuss the effects of dams, hydropower operations, and water diversions on rivers and lakes, with a focus on freshwater fish, salmon, and steelhead. She conducts field and laboratory-based studies, and also uses computer models to predict the impacts of climate change on salmon and the effectiveness of water management adaptations to counteract these impacts. Contact: Lisa Thompson, Wildlife, Fish and Conservation Biology, (530) 754-5732lcthompson@ucdavis.edu.

Ecosystems and wildlife

Mark Schwartz, director of the John Muir Institute for the Environment at UC Davis, is a plant ecologest and a professor of environmental science and policy. His research focuses on conservation and the relation to climate change adaptation. He can discuss the impact of drought on wildfires, and various plant and animal ecosystems in California. Contacct: Mark Schwartz, John Muir Institute for the Environment, 530 752 0671 or mwschwartz@ucdavis.edu.

Home and Garden Issues

Drought-tolerant landscapes and sustainable gardening practices

Ellen Zagory, director of public horticulture for the UC Davis Arboretum and Public Garden, is an expert on plant propagation and sustainable planting design. She helped develop the UC Davis Arboretum All-Stars—100 plants with properties tested by horticultural staff for possessing many qualities that make them outstanding choices for any landscape including their heat and drought tolerance. Ellen’s current projects include helping convert a variety of campus settings from little-used, high-maintenance, high-water landscapes to heat-tolerant, low-water, low-maintenance landscapes. She travels the state to instruct UC Cooperative Extension Master Gardeners and regional garden clubs about steps they can take towards more sustainable gardening practices. Contact: Ellen Zagory at the UC Davis Arboretum at arboretum@ucdavis.edu.

Converting lawns to natural meadows

Andrew Fulks, assistant director of the UC Davis Arboretum and Public Garden, manages the campus’s natural landscape areas for teaching, research and public use. He is an expert on converting landscapes from high-maintenance and high-water use to regionally-appropriate landscapes with multiple aesthetic and wildlife benefits. His knowledge of the measures the campus has used to decrease its outdoor water use and improve stormwater quality can be applied at both institutional and homeowner scales. His current projects include managing the 700-acre streamside and grassland ecosystem at the UC Davis Putah Creek Riparian Reserve and the re-establishment of a native California grassland at UC Davis Russell Ranch. He can speak to the steps involved in converting lawns to attractive, natural, drought-tolerant meadows using wildflowers and native grasses. Contact: Andrew Fulks (530) 219-7618, amfulks@ucdavis.edu.

Landscaping with drought-tolerant California natives

Taylor Lewis, horticulturist and nursery manager for the UC Davis Arboretum and Public Garden Teaching Nursery, has not only studied the best methods for planting and growing California natives, he has worked to make them publically available. With his calendar of when California natives bloom in hand, he teaches seminars statewide to dispel the myth that California native landscapes are not aesthetically pleasing. Lifetime Master Gardener and local radio talk show host of the “KFBK Garden Show” Farmer Fred Hoffman refers to Taylor as “…one of the biggest influences on the use of California natives in the state.” Taylor is an expert on how homeowners can make their landscapes drought-tolerant by incorporating California natives. He is currently working on propagating California native plants for use throughout campus as well as for sale to the public. Contact: Taylor Lewis at tclewis@ucdavis.edu.

Urban horticulture; production horticulture

Dave Fujino, executive director of the California Center for Urban Horticulture & co-director of the UC Nursery & Floriculture Alliance at UC Davis, is an expert on practices that protect and enhance the ecosystem in the urban environment.  He can talk about sustainable landscapes, soil ecosystems, water conservation pertaining to irrigation management, low water use plants, and turfgrass alternatives.  Contact: Dave Fujino (530) 754-7739, dwfujino@ucdavis.edu.

Landscape horticulture

Loren Oki, UC Cooperative Extension specialist in landscape horticulture at UC Davis.  He studies runoff from urban sources and is developing management methods to reduce water use, runoff, and pollutant loading from urban landscapes. He can talk about water use in landscape plants, using slow sand filtration systems to treat runoff, and tolerance of landscape plants to low quality water. Contact: Loren Oki  (530) 754-4135, lroki@ucdavis.edu

Water and Energy

Water rates and water-energy efficiency

Frank Loge is director of the Center for Water-Energy Efficiency and a professor in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering. As a member of the Davis Water Advisory Committee, he was instrumental in formulating the city’s proposed Consumption-Based Fixed-Rate pricing structure. Loge can discuss the link between water and energy from a hydrological perspective: energy used in water production, treatment, use and disposal, as well as the development of novel efficiency technologies. He can also discuss the effects of dam operations on migratory fish in the Columbia/Snake River basins and the biologic impacts of water drawdowns and hydraulic engineering on striped bass and Delta smelt in the San Francisco Bay Delta and Estuary. Contact: Frank Loge, Center for Water-Energy Efficiency, (530) 754-2297fjloge@ucdavis.edu.

Water-energy nexus

Edward “Ned” Spang, program manager for the UC Davis Center for Water-Energy Efficiency, is an expert on the water-energy nexus, the inextricable link between water and energy. He can discuss energy used to produce fresh water and water consumed in energy production at a local, national or global scale. He can also discuss water and energy policy. Contact: Edward Spang, Center for Water-Energy Efficiency, (530) 754-5447esspang@ucdavis.edu.

Water Law and Policy

Richard Frank, professor of environmental practice at the School of Law, can comment on legal and policy issues arising out of California's drought. His areas of expertise include California water rights law, drought-related legislation and regulatory tools, and water governance issues in the state. He has written on these issues and testified before Congressional and California state legislative committees on these topics. Contact: Richard Frank at (530) 752-7422rmfrank@ucdavis.edu.

UC Drought Summit

Complete listing of UC drought summit panelists and water experts, bios, and contact information.  Participants are from UC Davis, other UC campuses, Stanford, and Cal Poly.