Feds say Tule groundwater could continue to sink

photo: canal in California's Central Valley

Despite groundwater sustainability plans, Bureau of Reclamation says capacity of Friant-Kern Canal could fall by another 10% in the coming years; impact could be felt by rural communities as well

TULARE COUNTY – Without the construction of the 152-mile Friant-Kern Canal in 1951 at the cost of $61 million, many of the best producing ag areas along the east side of the San Joaquin Valley would be out of business. … [more…]

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’s Key Step Toward Sustainable Groundwater Management

California Department of Water Resources

Image: logo of California’s Department of Water Resources (DWR)

Critically overdrafted groundwater basins are required to submit groundwater sustainability plans to the state by January 31, 2020 that outline how the basins will reach sustainability over the next 20 years

Local agencies representing 19 of the state’s most stressed groundwater basins are required to submit plans to the state by midnight tonight on how they will manage their basins to … [more…]

Animation of Satellite Data Shows SoCal “Breathing” Water

Animation Based on Satellite Data Shows SoCal "Breathing" Water

Credit: Bryan Riel and Mark Simons

Using an unprecedented number of satellite radar images, geophysicists at Caltech have tracked how the ground in Southern California rises and falls as groundwater is pumped in and out of aquifers beneath the surface.

Their findings are presented in a study that tracks deformation of the earth’s surface over an 18-year period. The work can be used by water management districts to assess the … [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…]