By Todd Manley
As we commemorate climate week, water resources managers in the Sacramento Valley are implementing nature-based solutions to address resource-based challenges in the region and there is momentum to continue and scale up these efforts. With nature-based solutions, land and water resources are managed to provide multiple benefits and water supply reliability for cities and rural communities, farms, fish, birds and other wildlife, hydropower production and recreation by working closely with the landscape and our vital watercourses to provide food for human consumption and also provide food and habitat for the region’s terrestrial and fish species. This is part of a comprehensive effort underway in the Sacramento Valley to manage the region’s water and land resources from the ridgetop all the way down the watershed to the river mouth. For more detail, see Nature-Based Solutions: Enlisting Natural and Working Lands in the Sacramento River Basin in the Fight against Climate Change shown here.
Nature-based solutions have been the subject of some creative forward-looking thinking around how these solutions can help with climate policy and drought. We recommend reading the following publications:
- Felicia Marcus, former Chair of the State Water Resources Control Board and current William C. Landreth Visiting Fellow at Stanford University’s Water in the West Program authored a thorough analysis of the value provided by nature-based solutions and working lands titled “State Climate Policy and Nature-Based Solutions: A Match That Provides Multiple Benefits for Climate, Water, And More.”
- Redgie Collins, with CalTrout, in a recent Public Policy Institute of California blog, described the opportunity to think about the existing Outstanding Natural Resource Waters (ONRW) program to help to achieve the “30 by 30” goal set by California for protecting land and water resources without adversely impacting land uses in the watershed.
Nature-based solutions are also a central platform for the Newsom Administration, which was reinforced with the investment of hundreds of millions of dollars in the recently approved budget. Supported by the modern science, water managers, conservation organizations and state and federal agencies are partnering in efforts in the Sacramento Valley to provide multiple benefits and balanced resource usage through nature-based solutions.
If you have ideas for nature-based solutions in the Sacramento Valley, please share them with us at firstname.lastname@example.org.