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Announcement

Journalist & Author Mark Arax to Provide Keynote Address at 3ʳᵈ International Groundwater Conference in June
Unique Gathering in San Francisco to Examine Groundwater Science & Policy in Agricultural Regions Worldwide

Mark Arax, an award-winning journalist and author of books chronicling agriculture and water issues in California’s Central Valley, will provide the keynote talk at an international groundwater conference next month.

The event, Toward Sustainable Groundwater in Agriculture: The 3ʳᵈ International Conference Linking Science & Policy, returns to San Francisco June 18-20 for the first time since 2016 and will highlight advances on sustaining groundwater in agricultural regions across California and around the world.

View the draft program and register while space is available, including the free pre-conference workshops on Monday, June 17.

Announcement

International Conference to Address Groundwater Challenges and Successes in Agricultural Regions
Grab a Coveted Sponsor or Exhibitor Spot at this Unique Gathering in San Francisco

Groundwater basins in California and across the world are the source for much of the water that grows our food. But many challenges come with groundwater: Keeping use sustainable, nitrate contamination and impacts from climate change.

The world’s top scientists, policymakers and experts will be addressing these topics June 18-20 in San Francisco at the  3ʳᵈ International Groundwater Conference Linking Science & Policy, along with the latest advancements on groundwater demand management, conjuctive use, managed aquifer recharge, groundwater governance and emerging artificial intelligence resources related to groundwater and agriculture.

Learn more about the topics by viewing the draft program here.

Water News You Need to Know

Aquafornia news Associated Press

Friday Top of the Scroll: Native American tribes give unanimous approval to proposal securing Colorado River water

The Navajo Nation Council has signed off on a proposed settlement that would ensure water rights for its tribe and two others in the drought-stricken Southwest — a deal that could become the most expensive enacted by Congress. The Navajo Nation has one of the largest single outstanding claims in the Colorado River basin. Delegates acknowledged the gravity of their vote Thursday and stood to applause after casting a unanimous vote. Many noted that the effort to secure water deliveries for tribal communities has spanned generations. Council Speaker Crystalyne Curley and other officials stood outside the chamber in Window Rock, Arizona, under a clear blue sky as the wind whipped. She recalled learning about the fight over water rights in school when she was a girl.

Related Colorado River articles: 

Aquafornia news CalMatters

California climate programs would lose billions in Newsom’s budget

Democratic lawmakers and environmental advocates are urging Gov. Gavin Newsom to support a bond measure to help pay for billions of dollars in climate programs endangered by the state’s record deficit and deepening budget cuts. … Climate and public health advocates say cutting or delaying spending on programs that reduce greenhouse gases or help California adapt to climate change will exacerbate natural disasters and weather emergencies and allow air pollution to continue for years to come. California’s climate spending includes programs to enhance coastal resilience as sea levels rise, prepare for wildfires, ensure water security and develop solar and wind energy projects.

Related climate change/water scarcity articles: 

Aquafornia news SJV Water

Cover crops could enhance groundwater recharge – a lot – but agencies aren’t embracing the concept

Cover crops could be an important tool in groundwater management but are being unintentionally disincentivized by groundwater sustainability agencies (GSAs,) according to a new study. GSAs haven’t done enough analysis or incentivization of cover crops, according to authors of the study. In fact, the study suggests some GSAs are putting a negative spin on the use of cover crops by accounting for their water usage but excluding their water benefits. … [The study] was a collaborative effort between many organizations and agencies including the California Department of Food and Agriculture, the University of California Agriculture and Natural Resources and nonprofit Sustainable Conservation. 

Related article: 

Aquafornia news New Times San Luis Obispo

California airports stand to benefit from lawmakers and scientists’ attempts to disrupt ‘forever chemicals’

UC Riverside professor Jinyong Liu embarked on a scientific challenge as an undergraduate chemistry student when he heard people dub per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) as “forever chemicals.” … Undetectable by sight, smell, or taste, PFAS is part of everyday American life. It’s found in personal care products like shampoo and dental floss, in grease-resistant food packaging, and nonstick cookware. … In 2019, the State Water Resources Control Board ordered 30 airports, including the San Luis Obispo County Regional Airport, to investigate their groundwater and soil for the chemical. State regulators pinpointed pollution to a PFAS-rich foam called aqueous film forming foam (AFFF), which has been discharged into the environment since the mid-1970s through firefighter trainings.

Online Water Encyclopedia

Aquapedia background Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta Map

Wetlands

Sacramento National Wildlife RefugeWetlands are among the world’s most important and hardest-working ecosystems, rivaling rainforests and coral reefs in productivity. 

They produce high levels of oxygen, filter water pollutants, sequester carbon, reduce flooding and erosion and recharge groundwater.

Bay-Delta Tour participants viewing the Bay Model

Bay Model

Operated by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, the Bay Model is a giant hydraulic replica of San Francisco Bay and the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta. It is housed in a converted World II-era warehouse in Sausalito near San Francisco.

Hundreds of gallons of water are pumped through the three-dimensional, 1.5-acre model to simulate a tidal ebb and flow lasting 14 minutes.

Aquapedia background Colorado River Basin Map

Salton Sea

As part of the historic Colorado River Delta, the Salton Sea regularly filled and dried for thousands of years due to its elevation of 237 feet below sea level.

The most recent version of the Salton Sea was formed in 1905 when the Colorado River broke through a series of dikes and flooded the seabed for two years, creating California’s largest inland body of water. The Salton Sea, which is saltier than the Pacific Ocean, includes 130 miles of shoreline and is larger than Lake Tahoe

Lake Oroville shows the effects of drought in 2014.

Drought

Drought—an extended period of limited or no precipitation—is a fact of life in California and the West, with water resources following boom-and-bust patterns. During California’s 2012–2016 drought, much of the state experienced severe drought conditions: significantly less precipitation and snowpack, reduced streamflow and higher temperatures. Those same conditions reappeared early in 2021 prompting Gov. Gavin Newsom in May to declare drought emergencies in watersheds across 41 counties in California.