We 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.
The 3-day, 2-night tour focused on the San Joaquin Valley, the southern part of the vast region, which is facing challenges after years of severe drought, dwindling water supplies, decreasing water quality and farmland conversion for urban growth. The tour gave participants an understanding of the region’s water use and issues as well as the agricultural practices, including new technologies and water-saving measures.
Participants visited farms and some of the state’s major infrastructure, such as Friant Dam and the San Luis Reservoir, as well as the San Luis National Wildlife Refuge, a major wintering ground and migratory stopover point for large concentrations of waterfowl and shorebirds. The tour begins and ends at Sacramento International Airport.
“This was a fantastic tour. In three days, I had the opportunity to meet numerous experts in the field. It was a nice blend of speakers. I am looking forward to reviewing all the handout materials.”
“As a water engineer new to California, it gave me a much better perspective of differing objectives and opportunities to clients.”
“The information the speakers presented. Also, the range and differing views. First-hand engagement of local districts/farmers and being able to see things for myself.”
This tour started and ended at Sacramento International Airport.