Sinking Lands, Damaged Infrastructure: Will Better Groundwater Management End Subsidence?

Sinking Lands, Damaged Infrastructure: Will Better Groundwater Management End Subsidence?

In the midst of the COVID-19 crisis, work continues on managing groundwater for long-term sustainability, as required by California’s landmark Sustainable Groundwater Management Act (SGMA). In January, water users in 21 critically overdrafted basins delivered their groundwater sustainability plans to the state Department of Water Resources. In this series , we examine the 36 plans submitted for 11 critically overdrafted basins in the San Joaquin Valley—California’s largest farming region, where … [more…]

California and Water: Half Environmental Nightmare, Half Remarkable Success Story

California and Water: Half Environmental Nightmare, Half Remarkable Success Story

THE DREAMT LAND
Chasing Water and Dust Across California

By Mark Arax
Reported by J. Steven Young

When delegates to the second International Irrigation Congress convened in Los Angeles in October 1893, pessimism about their mission was not supposed to be on the agenda. The gathering, after all, was meant to encourage reclamation of arid lands throughout the American West, using irrigation to transform an immense wasteland into an agriculturally … [more…]

Leading Water Utilities Reducing Water-Energy Nexus Pressures

Leading Water Utilities Reducing Water-Energy Nexus Pressures

Water is required to produce nearly all forms of energy. At the same time, electricity is needed to provide drinking water and treat wastewater. Recognizing rising water-energy nexus pressures, a range of water utilities around the world are developing innovative solutions to reduce these pressures.

Melbourne Water’s hydro-electric power stations

Melbourne Water has hydro-electric power stations operating throughout its supply network, generating renewable energy from the flow and pressure of … [more…]

Preparing for climate change: California’s huge investment in water storage

photo: dry California's new water storage plans. To prepare for climate change, California is making a huge investment in water storage

On Tuesday, the California Water Commission completed a groundbreaking process to make the state’s largest investment in water storage in a generation. With the commission’s action, eight diverse projects around the state are in line to receive nearly $2.7 billion from Proposition 1, approved by voters in 2014.

These projects – including $816 million for the Sites reservoir north of Sacramento – could add 4.3 million acre-feet of new water … [more…]

Sinking land, poisoned water: the dark side of California’s mega farms

photo: water aqueduct in California's Central Valley. Sinking land, poisoned water: the dark side of California's mega farms

Farm fields along the path of the California aqueduct in the Central Valley, a region that produces a quarter of the nation’s food. Photograph: Lucy Nicholson/Reuters

The floor of the Central Valley is slumping, and there is arsenic in the tap water. Now it seems the two problems are connected

Isabel Solorio can see the water treatment plant from her garden across the street. Built to filter out the arsenic … [more…]