Watershed Challenges

Like many Central Valley Rivers, the Cosumnes has challenges:

  • Diminished flows from uncoordinated diversions and groundwater pumping;  
  • Climate change, with extremes of drought and flood more likely;
  • Expanding development that can reduce agricultural and habitat lands, decrease groundwater recharge, fragment habitat, and increase polluted runoff;
  • Mountain meadows in need of restoration to improve groundwater storage, ecosystem function, and connectivity;
  • River channel and floodplains within levee areas in need of restoration to diminish flood risk, increase recharge, and improve spawning habitat;
  • Homeless encampments that need both human services support and intervention to address pollution and fire risk  
  • Small disadvantaged communities that need support to address erosion, sediment runoff, and leaky septic tank challenges;
  • Invasive species;
  • Trash and dumping;
  • Selective thinning of overstocked forest areas needed to reduce fire risk.

The Cosumnes Coalition works collaboratively with partners across the watershed to address these challenges.


Groundwater overdraft affects stream flow, agricultural sustainability, groundwater dependent ecosystems, and water security.  Multi-benefit projects can help.