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Barry Nelson, Senior Policy Analyst, Water Program, San Francisco

Barry Nelson
During the week, I’m a senior policy analyst in NRDC’s Water Program, where we work to protect rivers, lakes, estuaries and fisheries, and to promote improved water management practices that can meet human needs and adapt to the likely impacts of global warming. On the weekend, my connection to rivers runs deeper. My wife and I have lived in California most of our lives, where both of our families have lived for a century and a half. Every weekend and vacation, my parents took my brother, sister and me hiking in parks across California and the West. Now, it’s my turn to protect this natural legacy and help others explore it. For their 50th wedding anniversary, my sister and I rowed our parents down the Wild and Scenic Rogue River in Oregon. Every Fall, we take our nieces and nephew canoeing to watch wild salmon spawn in Northern California. For me, rivers are both my job and my hobby.

Recent Posts

The Bay-Delta and a New Era of Water Solutions

Posted March 12, 2013 by Barry Nelson in Living Sustainably, U.S. Law and Policy

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Half a century ago, the State of California built the State Water Project.  It was a bold project, spanning two thirds of the state, from Oroville Dam on the Feather River to San Diego.  Today, the State Project provides over...continued

New USC Report Shows Promise of the Portfolio Approach

Posted March 11, 2013 by Barry Nelson in Living Sustainably, U.S. Law and Policy

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Last week, the University of Southern California released an ambitious new report entitled “Water Supply Scarcity in Southern California: Assessing Water District Level Strategies,” which provides extensive support for the portfolio-based conceptual alternative developed by environmental groups, water agencies and...continued

The Big Heat - Global Warming, and the Portfolio-Based Approach in the Bay-Delta

Posted February 8, 2013 by Barry Nelson in Solving Global Warming, U.S. Law and Policy

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NRDC recently joined a coalition of water agencies, business leaders and environmentalists in releasing a new approach to address the challenges facing the San Francisco Bay-Delta estuary.  The press around Bay-Delta issues often revolves around current developments about endangered species,...continued

Coalition Releases a New Portfolio-Based Conceptual Alternative for the Bay-Delta

Posted January 16, 2013 by Barry Nelson in U.S. Law and Policy

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Today, a diverse coalition of environmental and business groups and urban water agencies released a new “portfolio-based” conceptual alternative to meet the ecosystem and water supply challenges facing the Bay-Delta, and to help California provide reliable water supplies for a...continued

The Start of a New Era - The Colorado River Basin Study

Posted December 12, 2012 by Barry Nelson in Living Sustainably, Saving Wildlife and Wild Places, U.S. Law and Policy

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Today, the Bureau of Reclamation released a landmark Colorado River Basin Water Supply and Demand Study that has the potential to mark a new era in the management of the West’s largest river basin.  The study reaches several important- even...continued

Water Woes - A New Report about Endangered Species and Water

Posted November 14, 2012 by Barry Nelson

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Salmon Index Blog Series The 20th Anniversary of the CVPIA - the Failure of Salmon Doubling One Fish, Two Fish - The New Bay-Delta Salmon Doubling Index and the Need for Improved Restoration Efforts New Salmon Doubling Index Displays Telling...continued

One Fish, Two Fish - The New Bay-Delta Salmon Doubling Index and the Need for Improved Restoration Efforts

Posted November 13, 2012 by Barry Nelson in Saving Wildlife and Wild Places, U.S. Law and Policy

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Salmon Index Blog Series The 20th Anniversary of the CVPIA - the Failure of Salmon Doubling One Fish, Two Fish - The New Bay-Delta Salmon Doubling Index and the Need for Improved Restoration Efforts New Salmon Doubling Index Displays Telling...continued

The 20th Anniversary of the CVPIA - the Failure of Salmon Doubling

Posted October 29, 2012 by Barry Nelson in Saving Wildlife and Wild Places

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Salmon Index Blog Series The 20th Anniversary of the CVPIA - the Failure of Salmon Doubling One Fish, Two Fish - The New Bay-Delta Salmon Doubling Index and the Need for Improved Restoration Efforts New Salmon Doubling Index Displays Telling...continued

A Transformed San Francisco Bay - The Legacy of the Clean Water Act

Posted October 18, 2012 by Barry Nelson in U.S. Law and Policy

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It’s easy to see the Clean Water Act as an abstraction. I mean, who isn’t for clean water?   And it’s easy to overlook how this visionary bill touches us every day. From our kitchen faucets to a summer day at...continued

The BDCP Blog and the $11 Billion Question

Posted October 5, 2012 by Barry Nelson in Saving Wildlife and Wild Places, U.S. Law and Policy

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Last week, the Bay Delta Conservation Plan unveiled a new blog.  The first post highlights an important message that BDCP decision-makers have repeatedly emphasized for the past six months – “No one can say exactly how much water would be...continued

BDCP Ignores New EPA Bay-Delta Action Plan

Posted September 4, 2012 by Barry Nelson in Living Sustainably, U.S. Law and Policy

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Last week, two important and largely overlooked developments demonstrated clearly the ongoing struggle within BDCP to incorporate the best available science and to coordinate other major agency efforts focused on the future of the San Francisco Bay-Delta ecosystem.  The first...continued

Pipe Dreams - The Explosion of Proposed Pipeline Project in the Colorado River Basin

Posted June 21, 2012 by Barry Nelson in Saving Wildlife and Wild Places, U.S. Law and Policy

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One of the surprising conclusions of NRDC’s new paper on proposed western water pipelines is the number of such proposals in the Colorado River Basin.   We discovered that the Basin is the epicenter for this new generation of pipeline projects. ...continued

Pipe Dreams - A New Report from NRDC on Water Pipeline Proposals in the West

Posted June 20, 2012 by Barry Nelson in Living Sustainably, Saving Wildlife and Wild Places, U.S. Law and Policy

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You hear it all over – the dam building era is over.  MSNBC said it.  The National Research Council also said it -- in a far drier fashion.  In a report on climate change impacts on the Colorado River,...continued

Different Approaches to Finding Solutions for the Colorado River and the Bay-Delta

Posted June 11, 2012 by Barry Nelson in Saving Wildlife and Wild Places, U.S. Law and Policy

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The two largest river systems and water sources in the arid West are the Colorado River and the San Francisco Bay-Delta.  Both face growing challenges, shaped in significant part by a warming climate.   The Bay-Delta faces a crashing ecosystem, the...continued

New Redford Colorado River Film in Online Film Festival

Posted May 10, 2012 by Barry Nelson in Saving Wildlife and Wild Places, The Media and the Environment

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Robert Redford’s new film about the Colorado River, called Watershed, can now be viewed online as part of the Whole Earth “Do Something Reel Film Festival” (for a modest fee of $5.99).  The film is extraordinarily well done. It’s beautiful, informative,...continued

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Switchboard is the staff blog of the Natural Resources Defense Council, the nation’s most effective environmental group. For more about our work, including in-depth policy documents, action alerts and ways you can contribute, visit NRDC.org.

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