Topic: San Joaquin Valley

Overview

San Joaquin Valley

The San Joaquin Valley stretches from across mid-California between coastal ranges in west and the Sierras on the east. The region includes large cities such as Fresno and Bakersfield, national parks such as Yosemite and Kings and fertile farmland and multi-billion dollar agriculture industry.

The federal Central Valley Project and State Water Project (about 30 percent of SWP water is used for irrigation) helped deliver water to the valley. Today, San Joaquin Valley crops include grapes, tomatoes, hay, sugar beets, nuts, cotton and a multitude of other fruits and vegetables. At the same time, water used to grow these crops has led to the need for agricultural drainage.

 

Aquafornia news Ag Alert

County Corner: Our answers on groundwater leave more questions

In April, Gov. Gavin Newsom issued an executive order outlining the temporary strategies for California to manage the ongoing drought. Within this order, he outlined rules for counties, cities and other public agencies as it relates to new wells or alterations to an existing well. One rule requires farmers and ranchers to get written verification from their local groundwater sustainability agency that the new well or alterations “would not be inconsistent with any sustainable groundwater management program” for the area. 

Aquafornia news SJV Water

State funding to retire valley farmland could more than double under Gov. Newsom’s proposed budget

A state program aimed at retiring and repurposing farmland could get $60 million – more than doubling its current funding – under Gov. Newsom’s proposed budget. The Multibenefit Land Repurposing Program was created with $50 million from the 2021 state budget. The program helps pay for farmland to be taken out of production and repurposed to less water intensive uses. Farmers in the San Joaquin Valley have pumped groundwater for crops without limits for generations. But groundwater levels are plummeting …

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Aquafornia news Grist

How the “exchange contract” pits California farmers against each other

[On the southeast side of California’s Central Valley] farmers are pumping unreliable groundwater to make up the difference, hoping their already struggling wells don’t go dry … Others will rip up their trees and leave their fields fallow. … About 100 miles away, on the northwest side of the Central Valley, the situation could not be more different. Even during an unprecedented drought, the almond and pistachio farmers around the city of Los Banos will get around 75 percent of a normal year’s water … The startling contrast is the result of an obscure and contentious legal agreement known as the exchange contract …

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Aquafornia news Modesto Bee

Assemblyman maneuvers to slow proposed river flow increases

Assemblyman Adam Gray, D-Merced, is maneuvering against a bill that seeks higher flows on local rivers. Assembly Bill 2639 would set a Dec. 31, 2023, deadline for the State Water Resources Control Board to complete its plan for tributaries to the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta. They include the Stanislaus, Tuolumne and Merced rivers. The decision would follow decades of wrangling over whether fish should get more water on the lower rivers at the expense of farms and cities.

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Aquafornia news ABC 23 - Bakersfield

Water shortage impacting California cotton farmers

The California Department of Food and Agriculture says that more than 90% of the cotton harvested in California has been grown in the San Joaquin Valley but continuing dry weather is posing significant challenges for growers. Consumer demand is driving the market for cotton, including high-quality Pima cotton now reaching record levels of more than $3 a pound. But as California faces another dry year many farmers in Kern County are impacted not only by an increase in price but also by a decrease in production.

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Aquafornia news Downey Brand LLP - JDSupra

Blog: Full quantification of water rights not required for CEQA review, Second District declares

On March 22, 2022, the Second District Court of Appeal published its Opinion in Buena Vista Water Storage District v. Kern Water Bank Authority, upholding the Environmental Impact Report (EIR) for the Kern Water Bank Authority’s Conservation and Storage Project (“Project”) and reversing the trial court’s ruling. The Project proposes to divert up to 500,000 acre-feet-per-year (AFY) from the Kern River for recharge, storage, and later recovery within the Kern Water Bank.

Aquafornia news CA Water Commission

Report: Water Commission’s white paper on groundwater trading programs emphasizes safeguards for vulnerable water users

The California Water Commission approved a white paper that contains its findings and the potential next steps for State engagement in shaping well-managed groundwater trading programs with appropriate safeguards for vulnerable water users: natural resources, small- and medium-size farms, and water supply and quality for disadvantaged communities. The white paper will be shared with the Secretaries for Natural Resources, Environmental Protection, and Food and Agriculture, who requested the Commission’s engagement on this topic.

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Aquafornia news Bakersfield Californian

Methane leaks near Bakersfield homes renew concerns about idle oil wells

Environmentalists advocating new state restrictions on oil and gas drilling have seized upon confirmation last week that two idle wells were leaking methane near a residential area in northeast Bakersfield decades after they were improperly abandoned. Details remained sketchy Monday, including how much gas the wells were emitting and for how long. … Late last month, California officials outlined plans for doing more to cap the state’s orphan oil and gas wells using $25 million in federal money they said will help them prioritize work in populated areas most vulnerable to methane leaks and groundwater contamination.

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Aquafornia news Manteca Bulletin

Opinion: New Melones modeling & megadroughts: Setting stage for state’s water Armageddon

New Melones Reservoir is the proverbial canary in the mine when it comes to where state water policy wedded with the return of megadroughts is taking California. Using historical hydrology data on the Stanislaus River basin between 1922 and 2019: *Based on current regulatory rules New Melones Reservoir would fall below 250,000 acre feet of storage in 3 out of the 98 years. 
-Written by Dennis Wyatt, editor of The Manteca Bulletin.

Aquafornia news GV Wire

Hurtado wants feds to probe hedge funds’ acquisition of water rights

State Sen. Melissa Hurtado (D-Bakersfield) and state Sen. Dave Cortese (D-San Jose) are calling for U. S. Attorney General Merrick Garland to investigate possible drought profiteering and water rights abuses in the western states. … A county supervisor in Arizona joined the California state senators in calling for the investigation. … In addition to raising anti-trust questions, Hurtado and Cortese expressed concern about the potential for hedge funds to divert water intended for food production to cannabis growing operations.

Aquafornia news CalMatters

Sacramento Valley struggles to survive record water cuts

Three years ago, when he sank everything he had into 66 acres of irrigated pasture in Shasta County, [farmer Josh] Davy thought he’d drought-proofed his cattle operation. He’d been banking on the Sacramento Valley’s water supply… But this spring, for the first time ever, no water is flowing through his pipes and canals or those of his neighbors: The district won’t be delivering any water to Davy or any of its roughly 800 other customers.

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Aquafornia news ABC7 Los Angeles

CA water and energy crisis: New plan wants to install solar panel canopies over parts of Turlock Irrigation District’s canals

California needs more water and renewable energy, and Solar AquaGrid CEO Jordan Harris is trying to help. … A big idea is starting with a small stretch of canals in the Turlock Irrigation District, located just south of Modesto. This fall, groundbreaking will begin on a pilot project to build solar panel canopies over existing canals. … A study from UC Merced concluded that shading all of the roughly 4,000 miles of California canals with solar panels could save 63 billion gallons of water every year by reducing evaporation, while potentially creating about one sixth of the state’s current power capacity.

Aquafornia news Porterville Recorder

State, county may take water from City of Porterville

City of Porterville Manager John Lollis … announced at Tuesday’s Porterville City Council meeting the County and State may exercise its right to take 3 million gallons of water a month at no charge from a city well as part of the arrangement the city, county and state reached to supply East Porterville with water after the 2015 drought. … Lollis noted the state still hasn’t fulfilled its portion of the agreement which called for the development of three wells for the City of Porterville as part of the East Porterville project.

Aquafornia news SJV Water

Blog: Drought, groundwater restrictions and – oh yeah, drought – pervade talk at annual Kern water summit

Local and state water leaders were practically upbeat two years ago at the last in-person Water Summit put on by the Water Association of Kern County. At least as upbeat as California water folks typically get. They advocated for new ideas, radical partnerships and solutions that could benefit both ag and environmental interests. That was then. Facing a third year of punishing drought and the bleak realities of new groundwater restrictions, the vibe at this year’s summit was more “in the bunker” than “in it together.”

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Aquafornia news Valley Voice

Water contamination in Exeter critical but fixable

Last week, an official and dire-sounding warning about high nitrate levels in the city of Exeter’s water supply began appearing on social media sites, and with them came comments rife with speculation, fearful reactions and visions of impending doom. The water situation in the midsize foothill town, however, is not as dangerous or widespread as some of those who stumble across the notice without context imagine it is. … The reality, says Exeter’s Director of Public Works Daymon Qualls, is Exeter’s water remains safe for most consumers. It should not be consumed by infants and pregnant women until the nitrate levels drop, probably in the autumn when the dry season ends. 

Aquafornia news The Washington Post

Interior watchdog finds David Bernhardt did not violate lobbying laws

The Interior Department’s internal watchdog on Thursday said it found no evidence that former secretary David Bernhardt violated lobbying laws regarding a former client, a California water district that is the nation’s largest agricultural water supplier, although he continued to advise them on legislative matters on occasion after he stopped being their lobbyist.

Aquafornia news NBC Bay Area

Thursday Top of the Scroll: California’s snowpack, groundwater keep dropping

New numbers continue to show California Sierra snowpack is dropping along with the state’s groundwater but why is that important? Check out this image below and you’ll see all of the ways we use snowpack. That Spring snowmelt not only fills our streams, reservoirs and lakes, we also use it for agriculture, household, ecology and hydropower. In total providing one-third of the state’s water supply. The problem lately, we just can’t get enough storms to keep the snowpack at normal levels. This year only finished at 42% of normal.

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Aquafornia news SJV Water

Accusations continue to fly between two valley ag titans in water feud

The ongoing water feud between two of Kings County’s biggest farming entities recently spilled into Kern County and up to Sacramento with allegations on both sides of misuse of water and other public resources. In a May 12 letter, the Southwest Kings Groundwater Sustainability Agency complains that the J.G. Boswell Company has been pumping and storing massive amounts of groundwater for irrigation in a shallow basin, subjecting it to extreme evaporation and contributing to the area’s already significant subsidence problems.

Aquafornia news Agri-Pulse Communications

California is spending big on repurposing—not saving—farmland, argue critics

California lawmakers and the governor are hashing out the final details for investing billions of state dollars into a drought relief plan with long-term water investments and some benefits to farmers.

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Aquafornia news Ag Alert

Wednesday Top of the Scroll: Farmers across state face new water cuts

With 60% of the state now in extreme drought conditions, state officials are warning water-right holders that they should expect more curtailments during peak irrigation season in June and July. … Drought emergency curtailment regulations were issued last fall by the California State Water Resources Control Board for certain watersheds in response to persistent dry conditions and spurred by a drought emergency declaration by Gov. Gavin Newsom. Curtailment orders adopted last year are effective for up to one year unless readopted.

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Aquafornia news SJV Water

Tiny Allensworth on the front lines of bad water and innovative solutions

When it comes to finding innovative solutions to drinking water problems, the tiny community of Allensworth in Tulare county has long been on the front lines. This spring, community began testing a new technology that would “jolt” arsenic out of its groundwater. And since 2021, Allensworth has also been home to another new technology that “makes” water out of thin air. Both technologies are currently being field-tested in Allensworth. If successful, they could become viable paths to clean water for residents of Allensworth and other small, rural San Joaquin Valley communities …

Aquafornia news SJV Sun

Lemoore launches salvo against effort to swipe to Kings River floodwater

Lemoore is speaking out against the efforts of an out of town water entity to export water from the Kings River. The Lemoore City Council approved a letter in opposition to a petition to revoke the Fully Appropriated Stream (FAS) status of the Kings River on Tuesday. The letter is directed to the State Water Resources Control Board, which is hearing a petition from Kern County water agency Semitropic Water Storage District to revoke the FAS status.

Aquafornia news Water Education Foundation

Announcement: Join online groundwater short course starting today (May 12 )

An online short course starting Thursday will provide registrants the opportunity to learn more about how groundwater is monitored, assessed and sustainably managed. The class, offered by University of California, Davis and several other organizations in cooperation with the Water Education Foundation, will be held May 12, 19, 26 and June 2, 16 from 9 a.m. to noon. If you attended the Foundation’s Water 101 Workshop in April, you get a discount on registration! at $60!

Aquafornia news ABC30 Fresno

California Senate Bill 559 pushes for canal repairs to save water amid drought

Central California lawmakers, growers and advocates are calling on the state to invest in canal repairs that they say will help improve water security. The call for funding comes as the state experiences the third year of drought. SB 559, known as the State Water Resiliency Act, aims to fix canals that deliver water across Central California fully. Currently, $200 million has been allocated in the 2021 and 2022 budgets. But the bill’s author, State Senator Melissa Hurtado of Sanger, said that funding would only cover limited repairs.

Aquafornia news Public Policy Institute of California

Blog: Maximizing benefits of solar development in the San Joaquin Valley

The implementation of the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act (SGMA) over the next two decades may require taking at least 500,000 acres of cropland in the San Joaquin Valley out of irrigated production (about 10%). To soften the blow on jobs and economic activity, it will be important to identify alternative land uses that generate income. Solar development is one of the most promising options.

Aquafornia news The Sun-Gazette Newspaper

Allensworth groundwater storage project receives funding from DWR

 A plan has been put in place to help replenish groundwater supplies in Allensworth, a community historically affected by water supply issues. Led by the Tri-County Water Authority, the Allensworth Project is a multi-component plan aimed at replenishing groundwater supplies and mitigating emergency flood water damage by constructing two gravity-fed basins to catch flood runoff from the White River. The basins will divert water from the river for direct use and recharge, and will be used as a recreational park during dry seasons.

Aquafornia news San Francisco Chronicle

Cash for farmworkers? California lawmaker says new $20 million idea will help amid drought

A Democrat lawmaker from the central San Joaquin Valley wants to put cash in the hands of eligible farmworkers to help them deal with the devastation of California’s drought. Proposed by State Sen. Melissa Hurtado, a Democrat from Sanger, Senate Bill 1066 would allocate $20 million to create the California Farmworkers Drought Resilience Pilot Project, a state-funded project that would provide unconditional monthly cash payments of $1,000 for three years to eligible farmworkers, with the goal of lifting them out of poverty.

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Aquafornia news SJV Water

Chuck Williams, longest-serving Kern River Watermaster, dies at 93

Chuck Williams, the longest serving “interim, acting” Kern River Watermaster, died Friday. He was 93. Attorney Scott Kuney, who worked with Williams at North Kern Water Storage District, remembered Williams as a “man of great faith, integrity and a consensus maker. … Williams came to Kern in the 1960s after obtaining an engineering degree from Stanford University and went to work for the big dog in water locally, the Kern County Land Company. 

Aquafornia news SJV Water

Water districts bail on Kern’s largest groundwater agency; form their own group

Fractures have appeared within Kern County’s largest groundwater agency as pressure mounts for it to show the state how it plans to address the region’s massive groundwater deficit. Four water entities recently notified the Kern Groundwater Authority they were pulling out of the 16-member group to write their own groundwater sustainability plan. That will add a sixth plan covering the Kern subbasin, which extends across the San Joaquin Valley portion of the county.

Aquafornia news Los Angeles Times

New bill aims to limit frenzy of California well drilling

In farming areas across the Central Valley, a well-drilling frenzy has accelerated over the last year as growers turn to pumping more groundwater during the drought, even as falling water levels leave hundreds of nearby homes with dry wells. Counties have continued freely issuing well-drilling permits in the years since California passed a landmark law, the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act of 2014 … Some state legislators are now supporting a bill that they say would strengthen oversight and limit the well-drilling frenzy by requiring a review of permits for new wells by the same local agencies that are charged with managing groundwater.

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Aquafornia news The Sun-Gazette Newspaper

Groundwater law’s sinking of ag economy may have been overstated

As the deadline for local agencies to implement plans to reduce groundwater use approaches, a new study finds California’s landmark legislation may have less of an impact on the local agriculture economy than originally predicted. A study authored by Professor Michael McCullough on the effect of the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act (SGMA) in the Tule Sub Basin in the Central Valley … says by 2040, the deadline for local agencies to reach groundwater sustainability, the 2014 law will likely result in the loss of some crops, but probably not the more valuable ones, such as fruit and nuts…

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Aquafornia news KCRW

Contaminated water, zero water: Plight of CA’s Black rural communities

Southern Californians will face new water restrictions starting June 1 due to extreme drought. But the circumstances are particularly worse for unincorporated communities along the banks of the San Joaquin Valley, known as colonias where mostly Black and Latino families have lived for decades.  These problems are rooted in racial inequity and environmental injustice, according to David Bacon, who recently wrote about their lack of access to water.

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Aquafornia news Eos

Assessing water infrastructure investments in California

With water scarcity increasing around the globe, arid regions are striving to develop more flexible and diversified water supplies. For example, California’s 2020 Water Resilience Portfolio Initiative recommends improving and expanding the state’s conveyance and storage infrastructure as well as developing groundwater banking and other means of more flexibly sharing water. The success of such initiatives depends in large part upon the ability of water providers to collaboratively finance and build new infrastructure.

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Aquafornia news Capital Press

California dairy farmers concerned over water scarcity

In the midst of a years-long drought, California is implementing the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act, creating even more concerns for the state’s dairy farmers. … The biggest impact for dairies may be not so much on the dairy facility but on the feed side. Without adequate water or certainty of water, the question is where the feed will come from. The implementation of SGMA is going to impact local forages, hay, silages and wheat …

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Aquafornia news SJV Water

State funding helps pay for valley groundwater projects

Multiple San Joaquin Valley groundwater projects got a significant shot of state funding this week to kickstart recharge, and other, projects. On Monday, the Department of Water Resources (DWR) announced $150 million was awarded to 20 agencies through its first round of the Sustainable Groundwater Management Grant Program. That includes almost $84 million for 11 agencies in the San Joaquin Valley.

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Aquafornia news Mother Jones

Opinion: California feeds us, but it’s in severe drought again. Time for a new idea

Chances are, you’ll eat something grown in California today. Its farms churn out a third of US-grown vegetables and two-thirds of its fruits and nuts, and more milk than any other state. But as I’ve documented in many articles and in my 2020 book Perilous Bounty—released in paperback today, May 2—its water resources are dwindling, parched by climate change and a relentless expansion of thirsty nut groves. ..Where will we get our fruits and vegetables as California’s farms inevitably adapt to a hotter, drier new normal?
-Written by reporter Tom Philpott.

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Aquafornia news SJV Water

Kern River run off predicted to be downright miserly

Kern River watershed watcher Scott Williams put out what will be his final Kern River Snow and Water Report May 3 and the news was grim. The predicted run off for the Kern River has dwindled from an already meager 33% of normal last month to a downright miserly 28% of normal this month. The snow pack just didn’t materialize this year and what snow there was has diminished quickly, according to Williams’ report.

Aquafornia news WaterWorld

Calif. awards $150M for groundwater management

In an effort to boost water supply reliability for millions of Californians, the California Department of Water Resources (DWR) has announced its first round of funding to 20 agencies responsible for managing critically overdrafted groundwater basins throughout the state. A total of $150 million in funding is being awarded to regional groundwater agencies through the Sustainable Groundwater Management (SGM) Grant Program. The funding will go toward projects focused on water efficiency, groundwater recharge, feasibility studies for alternative water supplies, and the installation of monitoring wells.

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Aquafornia news SJV Sun

Seat for sale? Kings Co. Supervisor emerges as pricey proxy fight over water

Has a seat on the sleepy Kings County Board of Supervisors become a proxy fight for control of water flows in the southern San Joaquin Valley? It sure looks that way as political youngster Martín Chavez, a member of the Stratford Public Utilities District, has received unprecedented financial backing from Bay Area native and controversial water giant John Vidovich and affiliates. Vidovich … is currently locked in a fight with the Tulare Lake Canal Company over a water pipeline that he is trying to construct in Kings County to connect to a larger interconnected conveyance system. 

Aquafornia news SJV Water

Tuesday Top of the Scroll: Valley could see a “mass migration” of farmworkers as land is fallowed under state groundwater law

Advocates are sounding the alarm for what they think could be the collapse of the San Joaquin Valley’s agriculture workforce. As drought continues to hammer the state and groundwater pumping restrictions take effect, farmland will need to be retired en masse. While there have been many conversations, including legislation, on how to support farmers during intermittent droughts, advocates say there has been little to no planning for what will happen to the nearly 167,000 farmworkers in the San Joaquin Valley when swaths of farmland are permanently fallowed.

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Aquafornia news NBC News

Watch: Consequences of severe drought and climate change ripple across California

Water officials believe the past three years could end up as the driest in California’s history. State reservoir levels are alarmingly low, and measurements of the Sierra Nevada snowpack are “grim,” the state’s natural resources secretary tells Lester Holt. The drought is impacting the water supply for residents and farms, which supply critical crops for the nation.

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Aquafornia news Time

California sunshine could be key to combating drought

Some ideas are so satisfying that you wonder how they haven’t been done before. Solar canals, which will get their first U.S. pilot later this year in California, fit that mold. Western states are crisscrossed by thousands of miles of irrigation canals, some as wide as 150 feet, others just 10 feet across. By covering those channels with solar panels, researchers say, we could produce renewable energy without taking up precious land. At the same time, the added shade could prevent billions of gallons of water loss through evaporation.

Aquafornia news SJV Water

Ag well drilling still under a cloud of confusion from Gov. Newsom’s drought order

Gov. Newsom’s emergency drought order that singled out agricultural wells for extra scrutiny is continuing to cause confusion and angst in some parts of the San Joaquin Valley, while other areas are stutter-stepping forward. Selma raisin farmer Tony Panoo was happy to finally have his well drilled on Monday after several tense weeks when his permit application was stuck between Fresno County and the Central Kings Groundwater Sustainability Agency (GSA), which covers his 20-acre vineyard.

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Aquafornia news SJV Sun

Blog: Valley’s ‘water blueprint’ makes splash with statewide push for $6.5bil in water funds

A coalition of water stakeholder organizations from across California joined together to send a letter addressed to Gov. Gavin Newsom and six key legislators requesting action to address water issues. The nine page document dated April 19, 2022 was signed by 18 organizations and entities including the San Joaquin Valley Water Blueprint and 10 Southern California, four Bay Area and three trade groups. The letter laid out the need to include a $6.5 billion appropriation in the 2022-2023 General Fund budget to strengthen statewide drought and flood resilience.
-Written by Don Wright, a contributor to The San Joaquin Valley Sun. 

Aquafornia news The Sun-Gazette Newspaper

Pixley to install free clean water filling station

Pixley residents have had questionable water to drink for the last four years but will soon have access to free water from a vending machine. The Pixley Public Utility District recently published a public notice that says they will offer free drinking water at water fill stations in town. The notice says the plan “will consist of the installation of two water vending machines and shade cover for the machines, which will be attached to the Pixley Public Utility District building. This will provide the community of Pixley with clean drinking water at no cost due to the community’s issue with contaminated water.”

Aquafornia news SJV Water

Third year of drought pushes price of water to $2,000 an acre foot

A sale of agricultural water within the Panoche Water District on the upper west side of the San Joaquin Valley hit the eye-popping price of $2,000 per acre foot recently. The buyer bought 668 acre feet in a deal that was brokered by Nat DiBuduo with Alliance Ag Services. … Last year, the same sellers, also unnamed, sold water for $1,648 and $1,800 per acre foot, indicating how a third year of drought is pushing up the price of water, according to the broker.

Aquafornia news SJV Sun

Bill to aid farmworkers jilted by drought effects advances in Calif. legislature

A new bill aimed at bringing relief to farmworkers affected by the drought is now one step closer to becoming law. The bill, introduced by Sen. Melissa Hurtado (D–Sanger), aims to provide financial assistance to farmworkers struggling to afford basic necessities. Wednesday it passed in a state senate committee, four to one. Senate Bill 1066 aims to create a program called the California Farmworkers Drought Resilience Pilot Project. The project is a state-funded supplemental pay program that would give eligible farmworkers $1,000 for three years.

Aquafornia news Engineering News-Record

California eyes solar canals as clean energy source

As part of a broader research effort to conserve California’s scarce water resources, a $20-million pilot project in the state will investigate the use of solar canals as a major source of renewable energy. Known as Project Nexus, the state-funded venture is expected to demonstrate how covering canals with solar panels can reduce water delivery system costs and generate enough electricity to meet ambitious clean power goals.

Aquafornia news ABC 23 Bakersfield

Farmworker relief bill one step closer to becoming law

A new bill aimed at bringing relief to farmworkers affected by the drought is now one step closer to becoming law. The bill, introduced by Senator Melissa Hurtado, aims to provide financial assistance to farmworkers struggling to afford basic necessities. Wednesday it passed in a state senate committee, four to one. Senate Bill 1066 (see the full text below) was introduced by Hurtado and aims to create a program called the California Farmworkers Drought Resilience Pilot Project.

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Aquafornia news Random Lengths News

The color of water

Scattered across California’s San Joaquin Valley are colonias, the unincorporated communities home to some of the Valley’s poorest residents in one of the richest agricultural areas in the world. … Water access is a critical question in California. Former Governor Jerry Brown declared an official drought in 2014. The state today is even drier, and the declaration is still in force. Teviston, a tiny community established by African Americans in the 1940s, went completely without water for a month last summer when its only well stopped working.

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Aquafornia news ABC30 Fresno

Valley farmers worried as groundwater levels remain low

Throughout western Fresno County, fertile land has been taken out of production because the irrigation supply isn’t stable enough to bring a crop to harvest. Many of Joe Del Bosque’s dry fields in Firebaugh will stay that way this season. … Without adequate surface water delivered from reservoirs, some growers must continue to pump groundwater from their wells. But the California Groundwater Live website shows 64% of monitored wells are below normal.

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Aquafornia news SJV Sun

Controversial water pipeline takes center-stage in Kings Co. election

The controversial Kings County water pipeline saga pitting two of the region’s largest water players has turned into a campaign issue for Kings County elections.  Water giant Sandridge Partners, led by John Vidovich, began installing a sprawling water pipeline system that would be part of a larger interconnected conveyance system that will run from north of Highway 198, west of Lemoore, to the Blakeley Canal, south of Stratford.  

Aquafornia news Los Angeles Times

Ex-Central California water manager accused of stealing $25 million in water

The former general manager of a Central Valley water district has been charged with stealing more than $25 million worth of water over 23 years, the latest development in a years-long saga of corruption and theft, federal authorities said Thursday. … [In 1992, Dennis] Falaschi was informed that an aging, abandoned drain turnout on the Delta-Mendota Canal, part of the federal Central Valley Project, was leaking water into a parallel canal that the water district controlled, the document stated.

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Aquafornia news SJV Water

Friday Top of the Scroll: Gov. Newsom’s drought order brings ag well activity to a standstill in some areas

Valley groundwater agencies are mired in confusion and concern over Gov. Newsom’s March 28 executive drought order, which added new steps for permitting agricultural wells, according to agencies’ staff.  As groundwater agency managers scramble to hash out exactly how to comply with the order, well permits in some areas are stuck in limbo leaving well drillers and small farmers without answers — or water.

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Central Valley Tour 2022
Field Trip - April 20-22

Central Valley Tour participants at a dam.This tour ventured through California’s Central Valley, known as the nation’s breadbasket thanks to an imported supply of surface water and local groundwater. Covering about 20,000 square miles through the heart of the state, the valley provides 25 percent of the nation’s food, including 40 percent of all fruits, nuts and vegetables consumed throughout the country.

In the Heart of the San Joaquin Valley, Two Groundwater Sustainability Agencies Try to Find Their Balance
WESTERN WATER SPECIAL REPORT: Agencies in Fresno, Tulare counties pursue different approaches to address overdraft and meet requirements of California’s groundwater law

Flooding permanent crops seasonally, such as this vineyard at Terranova Ranch in Fresno County, is one innovative strategy to recharge aquifers.Across a sprawling corner of southern Tulare County snug against the Sierra Nevada, a bounty of navel oranges, grapes, pistachios, hay and other crops sprout from the loam and clay of the San Joaquin Valley. Groundwater helps keep these orchards, vineyards and fields vibrant and supports a multibillion-dollar agricultural economy across the valley. But that bounty has come at a price. Overpumping of groundwater has depleted aquifers, dried up household wells and degraded ecosystems.

Western Water Douglas E. Beeman Layperson's Guide to Groundwater Douglas E. Beeman

Water Resource Innovation, Hard-Earned Lessons and Colorado River Challenges — Western Water Year in Review
WESTERN WATER NOTEBOOK-Our 2019 articles spanned the gamut from groundwater sustainability and drought resiliency to collaboration and innovation

Smoke from the 2018 Camp Fire as viewed from Lake Oroville in Northern California. Innovative efforts to accelerate restoration of headwater forests and to improve a river for the benefit of both farmers and fish. Hard-earned lessons for water agencies from a string of devastating California wildfires. Efforts to drought-proof a chronically water-short region of California. And a broad debate surrounding how best to address persistent challenges facing the Colorado River. 

These were among the issues Western Water explored in 2019, and are still worth taking a look at in case you missed them.

Western Water California Groundwater Map Gary Pitzer

Recharging Depleted Aquifers No Easy Task, But It’s Key To California’s Water Supply Future
WESTERN WATER NOTEBOOK: A UC Berkeley symposium explores approaches and challenges to managed aquifer recharge around the West

A water recharge basin in Southern California's Coachella Valley. To survive the next drought and meet the looming demands of the state’s groundwater sustainability law, California is going to have to put more water back in the ground. But as other Western states have found, recharging overpumped aquifers is no easy task.

Successfully recharging aquifers could bring multiple benefits for farms and wildlife and help restore the vital interconnection between groundwater and rivers or streams. As local areas around California draft their groundwater sustainability plans, though, landowners in the hardest hit regions of the state know they will have to reduce pumping to address the chronic overdraft in which millions of acre-feet more are withdrawn than are naturally recharged.

Western Water Gary Pitzer

Bruce Babbitt Urges Creation of Bay-Delta Compact as Way to End ‘Culture of Conflict’ in California’s Key Water Hub
WESTERN WATER NOTEBOOK: Former Interior secretary says Colorado River Compact is a model for achieving peace and addressing environmental and water needs in the Delta

Former Interior Secretary Bruce Babbitt gives the Anne J. Schneider Lecture April 3 at Sacramento's Crocker Art Museum.  Bruce Babbitt, the former Arizona governor and secretary of the Interior, has been a thoughtful, provocative and sometimes forceful voice in some of the most high-profile water conflicts over the last 40 years, including groundwater management in Arizona and the reduction of California’s take of the Colorado River. In 2016, former California Gov. Jerry Brown named Babbitt as a special adviser to work on matters relating to the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta and the Delta tunnels plan.

Western Water California Groundwater Map Layperson's Guide to Groundwater Gary Pitzer

As Deadline Looms for California’s Badly Overdrafted Groundwater Basins, Kern County Seeks a Balance to Keep Farms Thriving
WESTERN WATER SPOTLIGHT: Sustainability plans required by the state’s groundwater law could cap Kern County pumping, alter what's grown and how land is used

Water sprinklers irrigate a field in the southern region of the San Joaquin Valley in Kern County.Groundwater helped make Kern County the king of California agricultural production, with a $7 billion annual array of crops that help feed the nation. That success has come at a price, however. Decades of unchecked groundwater pumping in the county and elsewhere across the state have left some aquifers severely depleted. Now, the county’s water managers have less than a year left to devise a plan that manages and protects groundwater for the long term, yet ensures that Kern County’s economy can continue to thrive, even with less water.

Key California Ag Region Ponders What’s Next After Voters Spurn Bond to Fix Sinking Friant-Kern Canal
WESTERN WATER NOTEBOOK: Subsidence chokes off up to 60% of canal’s capacity to move water to aid San Joaquin Valley farms and depleted groundwater basins

Water is up to the bottom of a bridge crossing the Friant-Kern Canal due to subsidence caused by overpumping of groundwater. The whims of political fate decided in 2018 that state bond money would not be forthcoming to help repair the subsidence-damaged parts of Friant-Kern Canal, the 152-mile conduit that conveys water from the San Joaquin River to farms that fuel a multibillion-dollar agricultural economy along the east side of the fertile San Joaquin Valley.

Western Water Douglas E. Beeman Douglas E. Beeman

What Would You Do About Water If You Were California’s Next Governor?
WESTERN WATER NOTEBOOK: Survey at Foundation’s Sept. 20 Water Summit elicits a long and wide-ranging potential to-do list

There’s going to be a new governor in California next year – and a host of challenges both old and new involving the state’s most vital natural resource, water.

So what should be the next governor’s water priorities?

That was one of the questions put to more than 150 participants during a wrap-up session at the end of the Water Education Foundation’s Sept. 20 Water Summit in Sacramento.

Announcement

Examine Key California Rivers on the Last Two Water Tours of 2018
Join us as we explore the Sacramento and San Joaquin rivers; hear from farmers, water managers, environmentalists

Northern California Tour participants pose in front of Shasta Dam.The Sacramento and San Joaquin rivers are the two major Central Valley waterways that feed the Delta, the hub of California’s water supply network. Our last water tours of 2018 will look in-depth at how these rivers are managed and used for agriculture, cities and the environment. You’ll see infrastructure, learn about efforts to restore salmon runs and talk to people with expertise on these rivers.

Early bird prices are still available!

Western Water California Groundwater Map Layperson's Guide to Groundwater Gary Pitzer

Vexed by Salt And Nitrates In Central Valley Groundwater, Regulators Turn To Unusual Coalition For Solutions
WESTERN WATER SPOTLIGHT: Left unaddressed, salts and nitrates could render farmland unsuitable for crops and family well water undrinkable

An evaporation pond in Kings County, in the central San Joaquin Valley, with salt encrusted on the soil. More than a decade in the making, an ambitious plan to deal with the vexing problem of salt and nitrates in the soils that seep into key groundwater basins of the Central Valley is moving toward implementation. But its authors are not who you might expect.

An unusual collaboration of agricultural interests, cities, water agencies and environmental justice advocates collaborated for years to find common ground to address a set of problems that have rendered family wells undrinkable and some soil virtually unusable for farming.

Western Water California Water Map Gary Pitzer

As Decision Nears On California Water Storage Funding, a Chairman Reflects on Lessons Learned and What’s Next
WESTERN WATER Q&A: California Water Commission Chairman Armando Quintero

Armando Quintero, chair of the California Water CommissionNew water storage is the holy grail primarily for agricultural interests in California, and in 2014 the door to achieving long-held ambitions opened with the passage of Proposition 1, which included $2.7 billion for the public benefits portion of new reservoirs and groundwater storage projects. The statute stipulated that the money is specifically for the benefits that a new storage project would offer to the ecosystem, water quality, flood control, emergency response and recreation.

Western Water California Water Bundle Gary Pitzer

Statewide Water Bond Measures Could Have Californians Doing a Double-Take in 2018
WESTERN WATER NOTEBOOK: Two bond measures, worth $13B, would aid flood preparation, subsidence, Salton Sea and other water needs

San Joaquin Valley bridge rippled by subsidence  California voters may experience a sense of déjà vu this year when they are asked twice in the same year to consider water bonds — one in June, the other headed to the November ballot.

Both tackle a variety of water issues, from helping disadvantaged communities get clean drinking water to making flood management improvements. But they avoid more controversial proposals, such as new surface storage, and they propose to do some very different things to appeal to different constituencies.

Announcement

Central Valley Tour Offers Unique View of San Joaquin Valley’s Key Dams and Reservoirs
March 14-16 tour includes major federal and state water projects

Get a unique view of the San Joaquin Valley’s key dams and reservoirs that store and transport water on our March Central Valley Tour.

Our Central Valley Tour, March 14-16, offers a broad view of water issues in the San Joaquin Valley. In addition to the farms, orchards, critical habitat for threatened bird populations, flood bypasses and a national wildlife refuge, we visit some of California’s major water infrastructure projects.

Tour

San Joaquin River Restoration Tour 2017

The 2-day, 1-night tour traveled along the river from Friant Dam near Fresno to the confluence of the Merced River. As it weaved across an historic farming region, participants learn about the status of the river’s restoration and how the challenges of the plan are being worked out.

Announcement

Tour of the San Joaquin River is Almost Sold Out
Our final 2017 tour dives deep into river restoration

A few tickets are still available for our Nov. 1-2 San Joaquin River Restoration Tour, a once-a-year educational opportunity to see the program’s progress first-hand. The tour begins and ends in Fresno with an overnight stay in Los Banos. 

Announcement

Agricultural History and Habitat Restoration Come to Life on San Joaquin River Tour
Our two-day tour in November takes you into the heart of California's San Joaquin Valley

Explore more than 100 miles of Central California’s longest river while learning about one of the nation’s largest and costliest river restorations. Our San Joaquin River Restoration Tour on Nov. 1-2 will feature speakers from key governmental agencies and stakeholder groups who will explain the restoration program’s goals and progress.

Announcement

Explore Key California Rivers on the Last Two Water Tours of the Year
Join us as we meander along the Sacramento and San Joaquin Rivers

The Sacramento and San Joaquin are the two major rivers in the Central Valley that feed the Delta, the hub of California’s water supply network.

Our last two water tours of 2017 will take in-depth looks at how these rivers are managed and used for agriculture, cities and the environment. You’ll see infrastructure, learn about efforts to restore salmon runs and talk to people with expertise on these rivers.

Western Water Excerpt Jenn Bowles

Preservation and Restoration: Salmon in Northern California
Winter 2017

Protecting and restoring California’s populations of threatened and endangered Chinook salmon and steelhead trout have been a big part of the state’s water management picture for more than 20 years. Significant resources have been dedicated to helping the various runs of the iconic fish, with successes and setbacks. In a landscape dramatically altered from its natural setting, finding a balance between the competing demands for water is challenging.

Announcement

Explore Diverse Wildlife Habitat on Central Valley Tour
See how water is managed in ecologically fragile areas

Our water tours give a behind-the-scenes look at major water issues in California. On our Central Valley Tour, March 8-10, you will visit wildlife habitat areas – some of which are closed to the public – and learn directly from the experts who manage them, in addition to seeing farms, large dams and other infrastructure.

Announcement

Winter Rain Increases Flows on the San Joaquin River
March Central Valley water tour will analyze drought impacts

The recent deluge has led to changes in drought conditions in some areas of California and even public scrutiny of the possibility that the drought is over. Many eyes are focused on the San Joaquin Valley, one of the areas hardest hit by reduced surface water supplies. On our Central Valley Tour, March 8-10, we will visit key water delivery and storage sites in the San Joaquin Valley, including Friant Dam and Millerton Lake on the San Joaquin River.

Aquapedia background Layperson's Guide to Flood Management

ARkStorm

Sacramento's K Street during the 1862 flood that inundated the Central Valley.ARkStorm stands for an atmospheric river (“AR”) that carries precipitation levels expected to occur once every 1,000 years (“k”). The concept was presented in a 2011 report by the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) intended to elevate the visibility of the very real threats to human life, property and ecosystems posed by extreme storms on the West Coast.

Aquapedia background

Contaminants

Contaminants exist in water supplies from both natural and manmade sources. Even those chemicals present without human intervention can be mobilized from introduction of certain pollutants from both point and nonpoint sources.  

Aquapedia background

Arsenic Contamination

Both the drought and high nitrate levels in shallow groundwater have necessitated deeper drilling of new wells in the San Joaquin Valley, only to expose water with heightened arsenic levels. Arsenic usually exists in water as arsenate or arsenite, the latter of which is more frequent in deep lake sediments or groundwater with little oxygen and is both more harmful and difficult to remove.

Aquapedia background

Whiskeytown Lake

Photo Credit: Jenn Bowles, Executive Director

Whiskeytown Lake, a major reservoir in the foothills of the Klamath Mountains nine miles west of Redding, was built at the site of one of Shasta County’s first Gold Rush communities. Whiskeytown, originally called Whiskey Creek Diggings, was founded in 1849 and named in reference to a whiskey barrel rolling off a citizen’s pack mule; it may also refer to miners drinking a barrel per day. 

Sustainable Groundwater Management Act (SGMA)

A man watches as a groundwater pump pours water onto a field in Northern California.A new era of groundwater management began in 2014 with the passage of the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act (SGMA), which aims for local and regional agencies to develop and implement sustainable groundwater management plans with the state as the backstop.

SGMA defines “sustainable groundwater management” as the “management and use of groundwater in a manner that can be maintained during the planning and implementation horizon without causing undesirable results.”

Western Water Magazine

Rewriting History: California’s Epic Drought
September/October 2015

This issue examines the impacts of California’s epic drought, especially related to water supplies for San Joaquin Valley rural communities and farmland.

Publication

The 2014 Sustainable Groundwater Management Act
A Handbook to Understanding and Implementing the Law

This handbook provides crucial background information on the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act, signed into law in 2014 by Gov. Jerry Brown. The handbook also includes a section on options for new governance.

Tour Images from the Central Valley Tour

Central Valley Tour 2015
Field Trip (past)

This 3-day, 2-night tour, which we do every spring, travels the length of the San Joaquin Valley, giving participants a clear understanding of the State Water Project and Central Valley Project.

Publication

Water & the Shaping of California
Published 2000 - Paperback

The story of water is the story of California. And no book tells that story better than Water & the Shaping of California.

Publication

Water & the Shaping of California
Published 2000 - hardbound

The story of California is the story of water. And no book tells that story better than Water & the Shaping of California.

Video

Restoring a River: Voices of the San Joaquin

This 30-minute documentary-style DVD on the history and current state of the San Joaquin River Restoration Program includes an overview of the geography and history of the river, historical and current water delivery and uses, the genesis and timeline of the 1988 lawsuit, how the settlement was reached and what was agreed to.

Video

A Climate of Change: Water Adaptation Strategies

This 25-minute documentary-style DVD, developed in partnership with the California Department of Water Resources, provides an excellent overview of climate change and how it is already affecting California. The DVD also explains what scientists anticipate in the future related to sea level rise and precipitation/runoff changes and explores the efforts that are underway to plan and adapt to climate.

Video

Salt of the Earth: Salinity in California’s Central Valley

Salt. In a small amount, it’s a gift from nature. But any doctor will tell you, if you take in too much salt, you’ll start to have health problems. The same negative effect is happening to land in the Central Valley. The problem scientists call “salinity” poses a growing threat to our food supply, our drinking water quality and our way of life. The problem of salt buildup and potential – but costly – solutions are highlighted in this 2008 public television documentary narrated by comedian Paul Rodriguez.

Video

Salt of the Earth: Salinity in California’s Central Valley (20-minute DVD)

A 20-minute version of the 2008 public television documentary Salt of the Earth: Salinity in California’s Central Valley. This DVD is ideal for showing at community forums and speaking engagements to help the public understand the complex issues surrounding the problem of salt build up in the Central Valley potential – but costly – solutions. Narrated by comedian Paul Rodriquez.

Video

Delta Warning

15-minute DVD that graphically portrays the potential disaster should a major earthquake hit the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta. “Delta Warning” depicts what would happen in the event of an earthquake registering 6.5 on the Richter scale: 30 levee breaks, 16 flooded islands and a 300 billion gallon intrusion of salt water from the Bay – the “big gulp” – which would shut down the State Water Project and Central Valley Project pumping plants.

Video

Shaping of the West: 100 Years of Reclamation

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.

Maps & Posters

San Joaquin River Restoration Map
Published 2012

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. 

Maps & Posters Groundwater Education Bundle

California Groundwater Map
Redesigned in 2017

California Groundwater poster map

Fashioned after the popular California Water Map, this 24×36 inch poster was extensively re-designed in 2017 to better illustrate the value and use of groundwater in California, the main types of aquifers, and the connection between groundwater and surface water.

Maps & Posters

California Water Map, Spanish

Spanish language version of our California Water Map

Versión en español de nuestro mapa de agua de California

Publication

Layperson’s Guide to the State Water Project
Updated 2013

The 24-page Layperson’s Guide to the State Water Project provides an overview of the California-funded and constructed State Water Project.

Publication

Layperson’s Guide to Integrated Regional Water Management
Published 2013

The 24-page Layperson’s Guide to Integrated Regional Water Management (IRWM) is an in-depth, easy-to-understand publication that provides background information on the principles of IRWM, its funding history and how it differs from the traditional water management approach.

Publication

Layperson’s Guide to Groundwater
Updated 2017

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.

Publication

Layperson’s Guide to Flood Management
Updated 2009

The 24-page Layperson’s Guide to Flood Management explains the physical flood control system, including levees; discusses previous flood events (including the 1997 flooding); explores issues of floodplain management and development; provides an overview of flood forecasting; and outlines ongoing flood control projects. 

Publication

Layperson’s Guide to California Water
Updated 2021

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. New in this 10th edition of the guide is a section on the human need for water. 

Publication

Layperson’s Guide to the Central Valley Project
Updated 2021

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 project’s history, the guide describes the various CVP facilities, CVP operations, the benefits the CVP brought to the state and the CVP Improvement Act (CVPIA).

Publication

Layperson’s Guide to the Delta
Updated 2020

The 24-page Layperson’s Guide to the Delta explores the competing uses and demands on California’s Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta. Included in the guide are sections on the history of the Delta, its role in the state’s water system, and its many complex issues with sections on water quality, levees, salinity and agricultural drainage, fish and wildlife, and water distribution.

Maps & Posters California Water Bundle

California Water Map
Updated December 2016

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 man-made 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.

Aquapedia background

San Joaquin Valley

Located in the middle of California, the San Joaquin Valley is bracketed on both sides by mountain ranges. Long and flat, the valley’s hot, dry summers are followed by cool, foggy winters that make it one of the most productive agricultural regions in the world.

The valley stretches from across mid-California between coastal ranges in west and the Sierras on the east. The region includes large cities such as Fresno and Bakersfield, national parks such as Yosemite and Kings, millions of people, and fertile farmland.

Aquapedia background

San Joaquin River and San Joaquin River Restoration Program

San Joaquin RiverFlowing 366 miles from the Sierra Nevada to Suisun Bay, the San Joaquin River provides irrigation water to thousands of acres of San Joaquin Valley farms and drinking water to some of the valley’s cities. It also is the focal point for one of the nation’s most ambitious river restoration projects to revive salmon populations.

Aquapedia background California Water Map Layperson's Guide to California Water

Pacific Flyway

The Pacific Flyway is one of four major North American migration routes for birds, especially waterfowl, and extends from Alaska and Canada, through California, to Mexico and South America. Each year, birds follow ancestral patterns as they travel the flyway on their annual north-south migration. Along the way, they need stopover sites such as wetlands with suitable habitat and food supplies. In California, 90 percent of historic wetlands have been lost.

Aquapedia background

Merced River

The Merced River is one of three major rivers that empty in the San Joaquin Valley from the east, along with the Tuolumne and the Stanislaus rivers. 

With the help of these tributaries, the San Joaquin River irrigates millions of acres of cropland in the San Joaquin Valley.

Aquapedia background

Kesterson Reservoir

The former Kesterson Reservoir in the San Joaquin Valley provides a cautionary tale of the environmental impacts of agricultural drainage.

Aquapedia background

California Aqueduct

The California Aqueduct, a critical part of the State Water Project, carries water from the Sacramento-San Joaquin Deltato the San Joaquin Valley and Southern California.

Western Water Magazine

Meeting the Co-equal Goals? The Bay Delta Conservation Plan
May/June 2013

This issue of Western Water looks at the BDCP and the Coalition to Support Delta Projects, issues that are aimed at improving the health and safety of the Delta while solidifying California’s long-term water supply reliability.

Western Water Magazine

Viewing Water with a Wide Angle Lens: A Roundtable Discussion
January/February 2013

This printed issue of Western Water features a roundtable discussion with Anthony Saracino, a water resources consultant; Martha Davis, executive manager of policy development with the Inland Empire Utilities Agency and senior policy advisor to the Delta Stewardship Council; Stuart Leavenworth, editorial page editor of The Sacramento Bee and Ellen Hanak, co-director of research and senior fellow at the Public Policy Institute of California.

Western Water Magazine

How Much Water Does the Delta Need?
July/August 2012

This printed issue of Western Water examines the issues associated with the State Water Board’s proposed revision of the water quality Bay-Delta Plan, most notably the question of whether additional flows are needed for the system, and how they might be provided.

Western Water Magazine

Saving it For Later: Groundwater Banking
July/August 2010

This printed issue of Western Water examines groundwater banking, a water management strategy with appreciable benefits but not without challenges and controversy.

Western Water Magazine

Small Water Systems, Big Challenges
May/June 2008

This printed copy of Western Water examines the challenges facing small water systems, including drought preparedness, limited operating expenses and the hurdles of complying with costlier regulations. Much of the article is based on presentations at the November 2007 Small Systems Conference sponsored by the Water Education Foundation and the California Department of Water Resources.

Western Water Magazine

Salt of the Earth: Can the Central Valley Solve its Salinity Problem?
July/August 2007

This Western Water looks at proposed new measures to deal with the century-old problem of salinity with a special focus on San Joaquin Valley farms and cities.