Multi-benefit Approaches for Water in the 21st Century

Thursday, Oct 12th, 2017

A recent viewpoint in the Sacramento Bee highlights the modern and innovative thinking that is underway in the Sacramento Valley to manage water for multiple beneficial uses. In “Here’s how rice farmers prevent flooding and help wildlife,” the authors discuss how a “multi-benefit approach to flood and water management is at the core of the new Central Valley Flood Protection Plan” and every aspect of water resources management in the Sacramento Valley. Importantly, Bryce Lundberg and Sean Doherty are farmers in the Sacramento Valley and both serve on the Board of Trustees for progressive water districts that are making significant investments in programs that will improve both habitat and food production necessary for salmon, smelt and birds along the Pacific Flyway. (Bryce is also the Chairman of the Board for NCWA).

Photo by Leslie Morris

The theme in the viewpoint is that “in addition to increased public safety, this [multi-benefit] approach seems much more promising for fish and wildlife than the current flow strategies. Instead of pitting the needs of wildlife against those of farmers, it focuses on ways to address both.” Spreading the water out and slowing it down in the Sacramento Valley mimics the traditional flood plain in the Sacramento Valley and follows the advice of leading scientists who point to this as the best step forward for both fish and birds in the Sacramento Valley. Landowners and water suppliers look forward to our continuing partnerships with conservation organizations and state and federal agencies to advance these innovative efforts for fish and wildlife.

Please read the viewpoint in the Sacramento Bee at: Here’s how rice farmers prevent flooding and protect wildlife.  

For a short film highlighting the multiple benefits of water in the Sacramento Valley, please see: The Sacramento Valley.

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