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Science Spotlight

Delta Independent Science Board (Delta ISB) To Meet February 16 in Sacramento

On Feburary 16, 2017, the Delta Independent Science Board (Delta ISB) will finalize its review of the State Water Resources Control Board’s working draft Scientific Basis Report for Phase 2 of the Bay-Delta Water Quality Control Plan. The Delta ISB will prepare for its review of the California WaterFix Final EIR/S and hear updates on its thematic reviews.

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The New Issue of SFEWS Offers the Final State of Bay-Delta Science 2016 Reports

Volume 14, Issue 4 of the free SFEWS online journal examines the latest scientific information about the recent advances in understanding flow dynamics and the transport of water-quailty constituents in the Delta, an overview of multi-dimentional models of the Delta, and factors and processes affecting Delta levee system vulnerability. The issue also includes papers on nutrient dynamics of the Delta, contaminant effects on Delta species and human health, and perspectives on Bay-Delta science and policy. These articles and others form the chapters of the Council's State of Bay-Delta Science 2016.

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Independent Peer Review of SacWAM is Now Online

SacWAM is a hydrology/system operations model developed by the Stockholm Environment Institute and the State Water Resources Control Board to assess potential revisions to instream flow and other requirements in the 2006 Water Quality Control Plan for the San Francisco Bay/Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta Estuary. It was developed using the Water Evaluation And Planning system, and is intended to be user-friendly and to easily accept various scenarios. The Delta Science Program conducted an independent peer review of SacWAM to assure transparency and confirm its robustness for applications related to updates of the Bay-Delta Plan, and as part of its mission to provide the best possible unbiased scientific information to inform water and environmental decision-making in the Bay-Delta.

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2016 Long-term Operations Biological Opinions Information & Update

The purpose of the 2016 information and update is to provide stakeholders and members of the public a forum in which to provide input regarding the NOAA’s National Marine Fisheries Service’s and the US Fish and Wildlife Service’s Biological Opinion on the long-term operations of the Central Valley Project and State Water Project. Specifically, there will be an opportunity for input regarding the various regulatory actions prescribed by their respective Reasonable and Prudent Alternatives. The review will enable NMFS and USFWS to use lessons learned, incorporate new science, and make appropriate, scientifically justified adjustments to the implementation of the RPAs.

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The Delta on Fast Forward: Thinking Beyond the Next Crisis

The State of Bay-Delta Science, 2016 (SBDS, 2016) is a compendium of scientific papers that synthesize the current scientific understanding of the Bay and Delta, with an emphasis on progress made since the first edition of SBDS was published in 2008. Also, select members of the editorial board prepared a summary for policymakers: The Delta on Fast Forward: Thinking Beyond the Next Crisis. This summary includes seven new perspectives on SBDS, 2016, a suite of tools that are advancing Delta science, and eight forward-thinking actions.

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Independent Peer Review Report: Estimating Net Delta Outflow (NDO): Approaches to Estimating NDO in the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta Now Online

The State Resources Control Board (SWRCB) is undertaking a four-phased process to develop and implement updates to the Bay-Delta Plan and flow objectives for priority tributaries to the Delta to protect beneficial uses in the Bay-Delta watershed. The SWRCB asked the Delta Science Program to obtain a peer review of the report provided by the Dept. of Water Resources in response to a request for a technical analysis of appropriate methodologies for determining net Delta outflow as a regulatory parameter in the Bay-Delta Plan. 

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Data Summit White Paper Released: Enhancing the Vision for Managing California’s Environmental Information

The white paper, Enhancing the Vision for Managing California’s Environmental Information, is now available. This paper is a synthesis of ideas explored during the Delta Stewardship Council’s Delta Science Program June 2014 Data Summit. It is based on initiatives, current programs and the experiences of individuals from State and federal agencies, academia, private and non-governmental entities.

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Delta ISB Review of Flows and Fishes in the Delta Posted

The Delta Independent Science Board (Delta ISB) has posted its review on how freshwater flows affect Delta fish populations. The report, “Flows and Fishes in the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta” offers several recommendations on scientific strategies to benefit adaptive management.

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Science News

San Francisco Estuary & Watershed Science
Volume 14, Issue 4 of the free SFEWS online journal examines the latest scientific information about the recent advances in understanding flow dynamics and the transport of water-quailty constituents in the Delta, an overview of multi-dimentional models of the Delta, and factors and processes affecting Delta levee system vulnerability. The issue also includes papers on nutrient dynamics of the Delta, contaminant effects on Delta species and human health, and perspectives on Bay-Delta science and policy. These articles and others form the chapters of the Council's State of Bay-Delta Science 2016.

Enhancing the Vision for Managing Californias Environmental Information

State of Bay-Delta Science 2008

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Delta Science Fellows Program

Delta Science Fellowships Awarded - The Delta Science Program in conjunction with California Sea Grant awarded Fellowships for 2015 to twelve outstanding candidates – the largest class of fellows ever awarded - with funding support from the NOAA Fisheries Southwest Fisheries Science Center and the State and Federal Contractors Water Agency.

The deadline for applications for the 2017 Science Fellowship Program was September 23, 2016. Click here for more information.

Grants Program

The Delta Science Program has funded 48 research grants totaling more than $27 million. The Science Program considers funding scientific research to be a critical component in establishing unbiased and authoritative knowledge directly relevant to Bay-Delta actions. This knowledge will fundamentally advance the understanding of the complex environments and ecosystems within the Bay-Delta system to aid policy-makers, managers and other decision-makers.

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Coequal goals

The Delta Stewardship Council was created in legislation to achieve the state mandated coequal goals for the Delta. "'Coequal goals' means the two goals of providing a more reliable water supply for California and protecting, restoring, and enhancing the Delta ecosystem. The coequal goals shall be achieved in a manner that protects and enhances the unique cultural, recreational, natural resource, and agricultural values of the Delta as an evolving place." (CA Water Code §85054)