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Northern California water supply: Meadow restoration for adaption to climate change

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Funding Year: 2009

Research Areas: Climate, Freshwater, Natural Capital

Regions: North America

In an average year in Northern California, the Feather River watershed provides flow equal to 40 percent of reservoir storage in the State Water Project system, which supplies water to 20 million people and 660,000 acres of irrigated farmland. At the headwaters of the watershed are mountain meadows that buffer floodwaters and store and release groundwater, but over the past 150 years virtually all of the meadows have dried up due to human activities. Using airborne and satellite remote sensing, field data analysis and ecosystem service modeling, researchers will evaluate meadow restoration as an effective adaptation tool to combat climate change, develop a method to screen meadows as candidates for restoration and quantify changes in ecosystem services.

Learn more about the Environmental Venture Projects grant program and other funded projects.

Principal Investigators:

Steve Gorelick, Cyrus Fisher Tolman Professor in the School of Earth Sciences and Senior Fellow at the Woods Institute for the Environment

Gretchen Daily, Bing Professor in Environmental Science and Senior Fellow at the Woods Institute for the Environment