California has been the nation’s leading agricultural and dairy state for the past 50 years. The state’s 80,500 farms and ranches produce more than 400 different agricultural products. These products generated a record $44.7 billion in sales value in 2012, accounting for 11.3 percent of the US total.
Breaking down the state’s agricultural role in the country, California produces 21 percent of the nation’s milk supply, 23 percent of its cheese and 92 percent of all grapes. The state also produces half of all domestically-grown fruits, nuts and vegetables, including some products, such as almonds, walnuts, artichokes, persimmons and pomegranates, of which 99 percent are grown in California.
Overall, about 3 percent of employment in the state is directly or indirectly related to agriculture.
In a wide field along a narrow two-lane road in the town of El Centro, the grass is tall and rusty brown. … It’s a lush wheat field, in tiptop health, today getting harvested by a guy riding one of those big green combines.
The San Joaquin Valley’s tainted air might be getting an extra dose of soot and ozone-forming gases this spring as growers wrestle with the woody waste from dead citrus orchards. … It’s more drought expense and woe in this broad farm belt where thousands of growers for the second straight year have lost river irrigation water for an area six times the footprint of Los Angeles.
Many of us could use a refresher course in California geography as we debate how to manage the drought and prepare for an uncertain water future. For starters, calling the hardest-hit farm region the Central Valley is much too simplistic.
State Water Resources Control Board officials said Monday that they expect to issue “curtailment orders” soon to the state’s most senior water rights holders, effectively shutting off the flow of river water to some of the major agricultural districts in California.
The farm is taking part in a research project using worms to consume nitrogen in manure-tainted water that irrigates its feed crops. The goal, in part, is to reduce the risk of pollution. But the process also has a byproduct – an especially rich fertilizer that can be sold to home gardeners and other users.
The Pacific Institute has released a new report summing up what’s known about the amounts of water used for agriculture in California, and one of the takeaways is that the state lacks comprehensive and up-to-date information.
From their homes along Horseshoe Road east of Oakdale, residents can’t help but notice the prominent mast of a well-drilling rig atop the hill to the west. … Like so many other wells in the area, it will pump water from deep in the ground to feed orchards.
For some, the practice of dry farming — where natural rainfall, not irrigation, is used exclusively to produce a crop — is rooted in history. Yet, it is relevant to modern times as Napa wines that won the historic 1976 Paris tastings were all dry farmed.
In the wake of zero water allocations again this year, Ronald D. Jacobsma has stepped down as general manager of the Friant Water Authority, representing 13 water districts on the San Joaquin Valley’s east side. Jacobsma’s separation from the authority follows the departure of eight water districts over differences with the board of directors.
Farmers enjoying cheap water prices will pay more money for less water this year, the Oakdale Irrigation District board decided Tuesday. For the first time in 105 years, OID will restrict water amounts, and as they did last year, farmers will pay a $6.10-per-acre drought surcharge.
Federal and state agencies along with Sacramento River Settlement Contractors (SRSCs) agreed this week on an integrated framework of actions for Central Valley Project/State Water Project operations for mid-April through November. The actions will flexibly manage and operate the system to serve multiple beneficial purposes that include water for cities and rural communities, farms, fish and wildlife and their habitats in the Sacramento Valley. The suite of actions will also help provide water for areas of the state that are in dire need of additional water supplies.
Farmers along the Sacramento River who have long-time water rights will receive 75 percent of their historic supply again this year. Last year cutbacks occurred as well for these growers, known as Sacramento River settlement contractors.
Representatives of the state’s almond farmers defended the decision to expand California’s orchards, saying growers with adequate water supplies are making rational economic decisions based on the price they can get for their crop.
This issue looks at remote sensing applications and how satellite information enables analysts to get a better understanding of snowpack, how much water a plant actually uses, groundwater levels, levee stability and more.
There’s a lot at stake, including your very own nuts, fruit and vegetables, because most of the water that’s up for grabs in California goes to farmers. This year, some farmers will get water, and others will not, simply based on when their land was first irrigated. Consider, for instance, the case of Cannon Michael.
The 32-year-old farmer in the barber’s chair said his well wouldn’t make it to summer. … It was late afternoon at the tail end of what should have been the rainy season in the fourth year of the California drought.
As California moves into the fourth year of a withering drought and Gov. Jerry Brown announces mandatory water use restrictions on the state’s 39 million residents, attention has focused on its thirsty agricultural industry and, in particular, rapidly expanding almond orchards.
Almost every number used to analyze California’s drought can be debated, but this can be safely said: No level of restrictions on residential use can solve the problem. The solution lies with agriculture, which consumes more than its fair share.
It was that kind of week in south San Joaquin and Stanislaus counties, where the struggle over scarce water intensified, with two agricultural water districts going so far as to briefly defy a federal order to provide flows for fish.
As California continues reeling from the drought, Gov. Jerry Brown on Saturday headed into the farmlands north of Sacramento, where concerns about the state’s parched spell are mounting after a dry winter.
Modern irrigation — aided by the Hoover Dam and the All-American Canal — transformed the Imperial Valley from a hostile desert into an agricultural marvel: a testament to generations of farmers and their use of cheap and plentiful water.
Even Northern California farmers with some of the best water rights in the state will see their water allocations decreased by 50 percent this year. Districts along the Feather River got the news Wednesday from the Department of Water Resources.
The Oakdale and South San Joaquin irrigation districts defied the federal government Wednesday by diverting some Stanislaus River water to a local reservoir, where it might help thirsty crops, rather than releasing it down the river to benefit fish.
In the week after issuing an unprecedented statewide water use reduction order, Gov. Jerry Brown labored to defend the measure’s focus on urban water use instead of agriculture, which consumes far more water than cities and towns. … But while Brown defends agriculture’s heavy use of water, he is also considering water rights curtailments that could dramatically affect the industry.
Even as the worst drought in decades ravages California, and its cities face mandatory cuts in water use, millions of pounds of thirsty crops like oranges, tomatoes and almonds continue to stream out of the state and onto the nation’s grocery shelves.
When Gov. Jerry Brown issued the first statewide water use reduction order in California history on Tuesday, he put his emphasis squarely on cities and towns…. As Californians mulled Brown’s unprecedented order, some wondered why farms were not being asked to sacrifice more.
Article after article in newspapers, magazines and online put nut growers in a bad light related to the drought. … I planted my almonds based on a contract with the federal government to deliver surface water from Northern California.
Federal agriculture officials are spending nearly $60 million this year to help combat the beetles, bollworms and other bugs that have the potential to wreak havoc on American crops, with California and Florida taking the biggest share.
Parts of the San Joaquin Valley are deflating like a tire with a slow leak as growers pull more and more water from the ground. The land subsidence is cracking irrigation canals, buckling roads and permanently depleting storage space in the vast aquifer that underlies California’s heartland.
After leaving his lucrative law practice, he [Harold Parichan] turned his attention to growing almonds on about 2,400 acres in the Central Valley. And it’s there that Parichan, 91, has a new opponent: the California bullet train authority.
Supreme Court justices will unpack many different arguments when they consider a surprisingly big California raisin case. With briefs filed in recent days, parties ranging from the state of Texas and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce to a bunch of independent raisin growers from California’s San Joaquin Valley have challenged a decades-old system for managing raisin supplies.
Frank Bigelow stood at the bottom of a gully that a few years ago was stocked with largemouth bass, and, more importantly, supplied water for a herd of cattle that numbered 600 head. … This year, eight of 17 bills he has introduced deal with water in one form or another.
During its meeting Tuesday, the Butte County Board of Supervisors will consider sending a letter of concerns to the Biggs-West Gridley Water District over plans to transfer Feather River water to the San Joaquin Valley.
This winter, a large sandbar planted itself in front of the Salinas River, not an unusual phenomenon on waterways throughout the Central Coast. But as the waters rose behind it — threatening and, once heavy rains hit, eventually flooding crops — county water officials could not push the wall of sand aside.
The first step toward finding solutions to long-standing groundwater overdraft in the Pajaro Valley was to acknowledge the problem and agriculture’s contribution to it, said Miles Reiter, chairman and CEO of Driscoll’s Strawberry Associates Inc.
In the January/February issue of Western Water Magazine, Writer Gary Pitzer delves into the notion of a “sustainable” and “resilient” water supply. His article highlights what sustainability and resiliency mean to a state in the middle of a drought and with a growing population and water needs that stretch from bustling cities in the north and south to the rich agricultural fields of the Central, Imperial and Coachella valleys and Central Coast. … Read the excerpts from this issue. Purchase a printed magazine or subscribe to the digital, interactive version.
Against a rural tableau draped in a gray winter sky, a fleet of heavy, clawing earth movers rumbles back and forth across a fallow, 953-acre field that for decades produced bell peppers, carrots and alfalfa.
In this region that calls itself “The Cantaloupe Center of the World,” vast fields that once annually yielded millions of melons lie fallow. And, for some farmers, planting tomatoes and other traditional row crops may now constitute acts of courage.
A January report from the U.S. Department of Agriculture shows that while more farmers are selling directly to consumers, local food sales at farmers markets, farm stands and through community supported agriculture have lost some momentum.
The Great Almond Rush has brought billions to the state’s economy. But it has also raised existential questions about water rights, land use and development, the environment, ethical food policy, fracking, job creation and this fertile state’s responsibility to feed the world.
Where tens of thousands of Valencia trees once spread across the land and perfumed the air, the [Orange] county’s namesake citrus has been reduced to a collection of dwindling private groves, haphazard leftover trees and commemorative historic sites. … It’s a fate mirrored across Southern California.
State officials have begun rolling out a new environmental initiative designed to win the cooperation of marijuana growers in protecting Northern California waterways and fisheries from the kinds of degradation that commonly result from pot cultivation.
California is in the middle of a growth spurt and a corresponding crunch for water resources. Right now, California has 38 million people (roughly the equivalent of the entire country of Canada) and can expect to reach 51 million by 2050, speaker Todd Manly [director of government relations, Northern California Water Association] said during the North State Economic Forecast Conference in Oroville Thursday.
Struggling sugar beet farmers in the San Joaquin Valley are turning their crop into energy instead of sweetener. A cooperative of nine sugar beet farmers just opened a demonstration biorefinery south of Fresno.
More than three years of drought has reduced reservoir storage in California and groundwater supply. Some wine grape growers in Amador County are worried the limited resource could make this season more challenging.
Last year, as drought gripped California, [Javier] Zamora’s bills for water and the electricity that runs the pump at his well skyrocketed. But this year, he invested in a new irrigation system that’s dramatically cutting his costs and water consumption.
A proposal to change water rates for farmers would have some paying more money and some less, but would not bring more revenue to the Modesto Irrigation District or affect the massive subsidy borne by its electricity customers.
The value of California’s rice harvest in 2012 was $770 million. The almond harvest’s worth was $4.3 billion. But which is more valuable: a rice field or an almond orchard? Which is more worthy of our vital resource, water?
A staggering economic and environmental problem festering for three decades in the southern San Joaquin Valley would be addressed by a secret deal reached between the Obama administration and farmers — one that is sounding alarms for Bay Area lawmakers. … Details of the deal between Westlands and the federal Bureau of Reclamation have not been revealed to members of Congress, who would have to approve it.
Several agricultural water suppliers seeking reimbursement for state-mandated activities under the Water Conservation Act of 2009 are ineligible to receive state funding, the Commission on State Mandates has decided. The decision, released in early December, states that the suppliers are ineligible because they have the option to recover costs through the Proposition 218 process.
California’s almond orchards have been thriving over the past decade and now provide an $11 billion annual boost to the state economy. … But the growth coincides with another record development here — drought — and the extensive water needs of nut trees are posing a sharp challenge to state water policy.
While controversial, the Drakes Bay Oyster Co.’s closure was not a big surprise. After all, Congress started the count-down 40 years ago when it bought the then-Johnson Oyster Farm site along the shore of Drakes Estero in order to add the acreage to Point Reyes National Seashore’s wildland area.
Growing rice requires flooding fields, which produces methane, a potent greenhouse gas. The California Air Resources Board is discussing allowing growers to obtain greenhouse gas “offsets” that could then be sold on the state’s cap and trade market.
Tricolored blackbirds, once one of the most abundant birds in California, now depend largely on Central Valley dairy farmers for their survival. Millions of the gregarious birds used to build their nests in wetlands.
Sometimes it takes a crisis like climate change to reveal a golden opportunity. Our rice farmers in Northern California have long been exemplary stewards of their land, both in terms of providing habitat for waterfowl and other wildlife and for their ongoing efforts to work with environmental and research organizations to improve their farming practices.
The dairy industry across the San Joaquin Valley is worried about California’s new endangered species protection for the tricolored blackbird, which nests in dairy silage fields here. And dairy leaders are disappointed because they had been trying to help save the bird for years.
When a man of 91 is downright cantankerous and has been on his land longer than most everyone else has been alive, he wastes no time speaking his mind. So after his new neighbor started sinking a well to plant a water-sucking almond orchard in the middle of the worst drought he’d ever seen, James Turner hurried over.
The average American farmer is a white man in his late 50s. Or at least, that’s who’s in charge of the farm, according to new data from the U.S. Department of Agriculture. But the number of female-run farms has tripled since the 1970s, to nearly 14 percent in 2012.
World supplies of corn, rice, soybeans, wheat, and other staple grains are forecast to reach their highest levels in 15 years, but experts say the increase will do little to reverse an upward trend in food prices.
An intriguing public debate over electricity customers subsidizing farmers has focused on what the farmers get: irrigation water at bargain basement prices. Somewhat lost in the dialogue is how much more power customers are paying – not just to benefit agriculture, but to keep afloat the Modesto Irrigation District’s entire operation.
Would your Thanksgiving table be ruined if the stuffing or side dishes did not contain almonds? … Then why are our water policymakers treating the almond farmers like they were producing a life-sustaining staple?
U.S. farmers irrigated roughly the same amount of land as they did five years ago, but they are using less water to grow the bounty of fruits, vegetables, nuts, and grains that fill the nation’s produce aisles, livestock stomachs, and, in part, gas tanks, according to federal farm data released Thursday.
The gnarled zinfandel grapevines on Rich Czapleski’s land have borne fruit for more than 100 years, producing dark, intense wines that exemplify the special growing conditions in this coveted winemaking region. Over that time, the vines have weathered some of California’s worst droughts — including the last three years with little difficulty.
Collaboration among federal and state agencies, rice growers and industry has created federally enforceable restrictions of the pesticide thiobencarb to protect threatened and endangered salmon and steelhead trout in California.
The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday allowed environmentalists to challenge the government’s renewal of 41 long-term contracts for irrigation water from the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta, in a lawsuit seeking greater protection for the endangered delta smelt.
Clad in a blue head scarf, Gov. Jerry Brown went to the Sikh Temple of Sacramento on Sunday to honor the “peach king of California,” … Bains said his crops still have plenty of water from deep wells and the Oroville Dam and Feather and Sacramento rivers, but called the drought “a big threat. It’s not like we’re going to have water forever without rain.”
In the rice fields north of Sacramento, Tom Reese climbs into his giant red harvester, starts the engine and heads south across a flat landscape covered in gold and green stalks heavy with grains. … We revere the natural landscapes of California, mountains and coast. Too often we take for granted the simple, flat world we see in between.
The typical season for the mandarin harvest is November through January. But Bob Bonk of Snow’s Citrus Court said the last two years haven’t been typical at the family-owned and operated citrus grove in Newcastle.
Hundreds of grape growers and farmers in Sonoma and Mendocino counties are girding for the implementation of new state rules aimed at protecting imperiled fish in the Russian River by regulating stream diversions for frost protection.
Five stops, expert agricultural commentary and a wide countryside were provided to travelers on the Farm City Celebration annual bus tour Wednesday. … The stops included Weiss McNair, a nut harvesting machine manufacturer in Chico; Western Canal Water District in Nelson; Crain Orchards, a walnut processing and export business just south of Chico; the Worm Farm in Durham; and Heitkam Honey Bees in Orland.
Today, the drought will bring together the leaders of several states suffering from water scarcity. Gov. Jerry Brown and Nevada Gov. Brian Sandoval will open a forum on how drought is affecting agriculture with remarks in the governor’s office this morning.
Defying the state’s devastating water shortage, California farmers produced a record tomato crop. … In a year when most commodities saw declines in production, the tomato crop was 16 percent larger than last year.
Last month, I packed up my household vegetable garden in Fargo, N.D., about 2,000 miles to the northeast of California’s Central Coast. … I’d visited Salinas this summer, as an agricultural journalist among a tour group of writers and bloggers.
They’re famous for asparagus and potatoes on this central Delta island, where the Zuckerman family has farmed for four generations. But here and there, mixed in with the spuds and other crops, are vast fields of emerald-green grass that stretch into the distance until they meet the sky.
The Sacramento Valley is a resting stop for millions of birds in the Pacific Flyway. Wet weather in Canada earlier this year is predicted to bring a record number of birds. And they’ll face a landscape with little water.
One modest, seasonal storm wasn’t going to reverse California’s historic drought. Yet across the Central Valley and Sierra Nevada mountains, where livelihoods and entire towns are threatened, there was joy Saturday as rain fell and snow piled up.
Rain fell over the hay barns and pine forests in the far northeastern corner of the state, and with Tuesday’s election presaging four more years of Democratic rule in Sacramento, an air of resignation filled the Flournoy family ranch.
Faced with a continuing drought, not to mention the ravages of the olive fruit fly, this year’s olive harvest is expected to start in a week or so, earlier than usual, and be about a third smaller than last year. This will also be the first harvest to come under new stricter grading and labeling standards that took effect last month.
As one of two counties with fracking bans on the local ballot this November, San Benito County has also become the site of a heated political battle between oil companies and anti-fracking ranchers, farmers, and residents. A similar fight is going down in Santa Barbara County, where oil companies have funneled $7.6 million into a campaign against Measure P, a citizen’s ballot initiative that would ban future high-intensity petroleum operations on unincorporated county land.
There’s a plan for water transfers could move up to 511,000 acre-feet of water each year for the next 10 years from the Sacramento Valley to the San Joaquin Valley and the Bay Area. … The Bureau [of Reclamation] is in the middle of writing the “Long-Term Water Transfers Environmental Impact Statement/Environmental Impact Report.”
The signs appear about 200 miles north of Los Angeles, tacked onto old farm wagons parked along quiet two-lane roads and bustling Interstate 5. “Congress Created Dust Bowl.” “Stop the Politicians’ Water Crisis.” “No Water No Jobs.”
Drought is rampant these days in many parts of the American West, so consider this a pretty sweet gift: You’ve just been given the rights to some water. … Your job is to turn around and use that resource in the most valuable way possible.
The Water Education Foundation’s popular Northern California Tour features a diverse group of experts talking about groundwater, flood management, the drought, water supplies, agricultural challenges, and the latest on salmon restoration efforts. The tour also includes a houseboat cruise on Lake Shasta. … The tour travels the length of the Sacramento Valley with visits to Oroville and Shasta dams.
This summer, California’s water authority declared that wasting water — hosing a sidewalk, for example — was a crime. Next door, in Nevada, Las Vegas has paid out $200 million over the last decade for homes and businesses to pull out their lawns.
Asian Citrus Psyllids, an invasive insect, have been found in Manteca and Lodi, according to San Joaquin County Agricultural Commissioner Tim Pelican. … The psyllids pose no threat to humans, but they can carry the huanglongbing disease, also known as citrus greening.
The threat of rain in mid-October would typically have winemakers and vineyard managers scrambling as they look to limit any damage caused by severe rot or other moisture-related harm to the North Coast’s most valuable crop.
Sonoma County planning officials on Monday unveiled the most significant changes in nearly 40 years to the county’s underground well ordinance, which sets in place rules property owners must follow when drilling a new water well.
Get a group of farmers and ranchers together and they will tell you without hesitation California’s historic drought is driving up the cost of food. The Center for Land-Based Learning, a non-profit teaching people how to farm, held its annual fundraiser at the Oracle Conference Center in Redwood City this weekend.
The wild elk and domestic cows simply do not mix, according to the ranchers who lease the fields from the National Park Service, which administers 28,000 acres of agricultural land in the Golden Gate National Recreation Area and Point Reyes seashore. The ranchers say the competition from the elk for scarce vegetation threatens their very existence after three years of drought.
They’re a dozen men and women riding horseback on a modern-day cross-country cattle drive, but with fistfuls of petitions instead of a herd of steers. … But environmentalists have lashed out at protesters as a selfish, entitled group with no business running private cattle on public lands, especially during years of prolonged drought.
Five new wells are on the drawing board for Glenn-Colusa Irrigation District, the biggest surface water district in the Sacramento Valley. … Glenn-Colusa Irrigation District is considering the five wells as a backup to surface water during dry and critically dry years, presenters explained.
One of the most extreme droughts in California’s history has been hitting agriculture hard, forcing cutbacks in water deliveries in parts of the Central Valley and leaving more than 400,000 acres of farmland fallow and dry.
Exports of California food products took a dive in August, with fruit and tree nuts decreasing by 8 percent when compared to the same time last year and vegetables dropping by 7.8 percent, according to data released Friday by Beacon Economics.
The state Supreme Court on Wednesday allowed California regulators to order farmers along the Russian River to reduce cold-weather water sprays that have helped preserve their crops while killing thousands of endangered salmon.
In the midst of a record-smashing dry cycle in the United States, the organization with the most influence over state and federal drought policy wants to do a better job managing the crisis. … On September 18 and 19, the Western Governors’ Association, a forum for state leaders, will welcome to Norman, Oklahoma, agency officials, industry representatives, and technical experts who will offer insight on how a multi-year drought in the western United States is challenging the energy sector.
Farmers and ranchers forced to sell livestock due to the drought have an extended period of time to replace their livestock and defer tax on any gains from the sales, the Internal Revenue Service announced.
In the latest surveys, respondents said California’s massive wine industry will hold its own in the global marketplace despite shifts in consumer demographics, drought, competition from imported wines and the rising popularity of craft beers and cocktails.
The Reclamation Act of 1902, which could arguably be described as a progression of the credo, Manifest Destiny, transformed the West. This issue of Western Water provides a glimpse of the past 100 years of the Reclamation Act, from the early visionaries who sought to turn the arid West into productive farmland, to the modern day task of providing a limited amount of water to homes, farms and the environment. Included are discussions of various Bureau projects and what the next century may bring in terms of challenges and success.
30-minute DVD that traces the history of the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation and its role in the development of the West. Includes extensive historic footage of farming and the construction of dams and other water projects, and discusses historic and modern day issues.
A new look for our most popular product! And it’s the perfect gift for the water wonk in your life.
Our 24×36 inch California Water Map is widely known for being the definitive poster that shows the integral role water plays in the state. On this updated version it is easier to see California’s natural waterways and manmade reservoirs and aqueducts - including federally, state and locally funded projects - the wild and scenic rivers system, and natural lakes. The map features beautiful photos of California’s natural environment, rivers, water projects, wildlife, and urban and agricultural uses and the text focuses on key issues: water supply, water use, water projects, the Delta, wild and scenic rivers and the Colorado River.
This beautiful 24×36 inch poster, suitable for framing, features a map of the San Joaquin River. The map text focuses on the San Joaquin River Restoration Program, which aims to restore flows and populations of Chinook salmon to the river below Friant Dam to its confluence with the Merced River. The text discusses the history of the program, its goals and ongoing challenges with implementation.
This beautiful 24×36 inch poster, suitable for framing, displays the rivers, lakes and reservoirs, irrigated farmland, urban areas and Indian reservations within the Klamath River Watershed. The map text explains the many issues facing this vast, 15,000-square-mile watershed, including fish restoration; agricultural water use; and wetlands. Also included are descriptions of the separate, but linked, Klamath Basin Restoration Agreement and the Klamath Hydroelectric Agreement, and the next steps associated with those agreements. Development of the map was funded by a grant from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.
This beautifully illustrated 24×36 inch poster, suitable for framing and display in any office or classroom, focuses on the theme of Delta sustainability.
The text, photos and graphics explain issues related to land subsidence, levees and flooding, urbanization and fish and wildlife protection. An inset map illustrates the tidal action that increases the salinity of the Delta’s waterways. Development of the map was funded by a grant from the California Bay-Delta Authority.
This beautiful 24×36 inch poster, suitable for framing, displays the rivers, lakes and reservoirs, irrigated farmland, urban areas and Indian reservations within the Truckee River Basin, including the Newlands Project, Pyramid Lake and Lake Tahoe. Map text explains the issues surrounding the use of the Truckee-Carson rivers, Lake Tahoe water quality improvement efforts, fishery restoration and the effort to reach compromise solutions to many of these issues.
This 24×36 inch poster, suitable for framing, illustrates the water resources available for Nevada cities, agriculture and the environment. It features natural and manmade water resources throughout the state, including the Truckee and Carson rivers, Lake Tahoe, Pyramid Lake and the course of the Colorado River that forms the state’s eastern boundary.
Water as a renewable resource is depicted in this 18×24 inch poster. Water is renewed again and again by the natural hydrologic cycle where water evaporates, transpires from plants, rises to form clouds, and returns to the earth as precipitation. Excellent for elementary school classroom use.
With irrigation projects that import water, farmers have transformed millions of acres of land into highly productive fields and orchards. But the dry climate that provides an almost year-round farming season can hasten salt build up in soils. The build-up of salts in poorly drained soils can decrease crop productivity, and there are links between drainage water from irrigated fields and harmful impacts on fish and wildlife.
The 24-page Layperson’s Guide to California Water provides an excellent overview of the history of water development and use in California. It includes sections on flood management; the state, federal and Colorado River delivery systems; Delta issues; water rights; environmental issues; water quality; and options for stretching the water supply such as water marketing and conjunctive use.
The 24-page Layperson’s Guide to the Central Valley Project explores the history and development of the federal Central Valley Project (CVP), California’s largest surface water delivery system. In addition to the history of the project, the guide describes the various CVP facilities, CVP operations, the benefits the CVP brought to the state, and the CVP Improvement Act (CVPIA).
The 28-page Layperson’s Guide to Groundwater is an in-depth, easy-to-understand publication that provides background and perspective on groundwater. The guide explains what groundwater is – not an underground network of rivers and lakes! – and the history of its use in California.