Sacramento River Valley Research Team

Little is known about the vulnerability and resilience of society, the economy, and the environment in the Sacramento River Valley (SRV). The lack of sufficient understanding of the interactions between water and land use, ecosystem services, and levels of human decision-making is a recurring gap in our knowledge (Braden et al., 2009) and is a source of misunderstanding and conflict within local communities (Hanemann & Dyckman, 2009; Madani & Lund, 2012).

The Sacramento River is the largest river system in California and one of the primary water supplies for the state. The SRV is a rich mosaic of farmlands, cities and rural communities, refuges and managed wetlands, and meandering rivers that support fisheries, wildlife and their habitats. Water originating and stored in the region is used here, and also delivered to urban and agricultural users in Southern California.

The SRV Working Team is studying the long-term viability of the region under a set of plausible scenarios, including climate change, agricultural price and output variability, and increasing transfers of water out of the region. This research will engage agricultural producers and resource managers in participatory workshops to co-develop a conceptual model framework of the SRV, which in turn will be used to analyze scenarios. The co- created model can be used to understand the decision-making process and the long-term implications of those decisions on the Sacramento River Valley (SRV) region and its natural resources.

For more information, contact Dr. Colleen Hatfield, Department of Biological Sciences (530-898-4235) or Dr. Dean Fairbanks, Department of Geography and Planning (530-898-5780).