Water suppliers, water and wildlife agencies join the Sacramento River Science Partnership

By on August 27, 2020

Six California and federal agencies representing water management, fish, and wildlife, along with the Sacramento River Settlement Contractors, signed onto the Sacramento River Science Partnership this month.

The Partnership establishes an interagency science collaborative in which members will develop, share and discuss science to inform water management activities and protection of fish in the Sacramento River.

“By openly discussing science from their individual perspectives, the Members anticipate that opportunities to promote effective and efficient science may emerge,” the Partnership Charter says. Charter members include Bureau of Reclamation, Sacramento River Settlement Contractors, NOAA Fisheries’ West Coast Region and Southwest Fisheries Science Center, California Department of Fish and Wildlife, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and California Department of Water Resources.

Partnership members are co-producing a science plan for the mainstem of the Sacramento River from Shasta Reservoir to Verona, at the confluence with the Feather River, including the Sutter Bypass. The plan, which is expected to be finalized in mid-September, provides science and research recommendations centered on prediction, detection and understanding of the effects of management actions designed to support all four runs of Sacramento River Chinook salmon.

Officials say the diversity of the Partnership demonstrates its strength, because it draws on the expertise of local, state and federal partners. A shared understanding of research and monitoring, as well as collaborative science, will help build trust between agencies and stakeholders and provide a common foundation for decisions.

“We have all seen that warring science only leads to conflict—this is a new path forward for collaborative science,” said Roger Cornwell, Chair, Sacramento River Settlement Contractors. “It’s hard work, but this will help improve conditions for salmon while also serving water for farms, cities and rural communities, birds and recreation.”