The problem is not growing water-intensive crops in California, but growing them in the driest areas in the state. The arid scrubland on the southern floor of the San Joaquin Valley gets about 7-8 inches of rain a year.
The water use of California's huge almond industry is becoming a major issue in groundwater basins throughout the state. A searing article in the LA Times by Maria L. La Ganga, Gabrielle LaMarr LeMee and Ian James states that 2021 is on track to see the most agricultural wells drilled since the last drought ended. … Continue reading The high cost of increasing almond yields
Bear Grylls is a British soldier who spent three years as a soldier in the British Special Forces. He broke his back in three places in a parachuting accident and spent many months in military rehabilitation He recovered and went on to become one of the youngest climbers ever to reach the summit of Mount Everest. Bear … Continue reading Tales from the Water Wars — On Facing Fears
San Joaquin Valley communities are on the front lines of massive land fallowing due to drought and soil and groundwater salinization. Satellite imaging shows almost a million acres of land on the west side of the San Joaquin Valley and in the Tulare Lake region that is either moderately or severely impaired by salinity. In … Continue reading On a just transition for farmworker communities and farmworkers in the San Joaquin Valley
Local communities such as Huron and Mendota have been impacted by large scale land fallowing due to soil and groundwater salinization. Their future may lie in the Valley's growing renewable energy industry.
The proposed Del Puerto Canyon reservoir would inundate active landslides. This creates the risk of a lake tsunami, which could cause failure of the dam. Experts call for a geotechnical evaluation of the site.
The May 14, 2019 Board Agenda for the Santa Clara Valley Water District included a closed session item to discuss “setting negotiation parameters” for the purchase of multiple parcels of land in Merced County. County tax records show that the parcels total 5,257 acres, and are owned by 4S Ranch Partners LLC. The parcels are within the Grasslands Wildlife Management Area, which is managed by the US Fish and Wildlife Service as winter wetlands for waterfowl migrating on the Pacific Flyway.
The Groundwater Resources Association of California and the University of California Water Security and Sustainability Research Initiative have proposed large increases in future diversions from the Sacramento River and the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta to provide recharge of overdrafted groundwater basins in the San Joaquin Valley. Their white paper states: What Are the Legal and Regulatory … Continue reading Groundwater depletion and salt-impaired lands in the San Joaquin Valley