Economic and Environmental Implications of California Crop and Livestock, Adaptation to Climate Change
Keywords:agriculture, climate change, Groundwater Exchange, groundwater recharge, modeling
Multiple Benefits of Water Conservation and Efficiency for California Agriculture$0.00 Bulk Download
Multiple Benefits of Water Conservation and Efficiency for California AgriculturePacific Institute | July 29, 2014...Summary
California farmers have made progress in updating and modernizing irrigation practices, but despite past efforts, great untapped potential remains to use water more...
California farmers have made progress in updating and modernizing irrigation practices, but despite past efforts, great untapped potential remains to use water more efficiently. Water efficiency – defined as measures that reduce water use while maintaining the benefits water provides – has been shown to be a cost-effective and flexible tool to adapt to drought as well as to address longstanding water challenges in California. Moreover, today’s investments in efficiency will provide a competitive advantage in the future and ensure the ongoing strength of the agriculture sector in California.
Water-efficiency strategies provide important benefits to farmers, ecosystems, and society. Some of the water saved represents new supply that can be dedicated to other uses. But there are also compelling reasons to seek reductions in total water withdrawals, e.g., allowing farmers to maintain and even improve crop yields and quality; protecting water quality; reducing fertilizer, water, and energy costs; and boosting profits. The multiple benefits associated with reducing both consumptive and non-consumptive water uses argues for a comprehensive approach for promoting water-efficiency improvements that allows us to address complex and interrelated water management challenges in California, including water-supply reliability, conflicts among water users, the risks of droughts, worsening water quality, and ecological degradation. This fact sheet and infographic, The Multiple Benefits of Water Efficiency for California Agriculture, describe some of these important benefits.
Agricultural Water Use Efficiency (Resource Management Strategy)$0.00 Bulk Download
Agricultural Water Use Efficiency (Resource Management Strategy)Department of Water Resources | July 29, 2016...Summary
The agricultural water use efficiency strategy describes the use and application of scientific processes to control agricultural water delivery and use to achieve...
The agricultural water use efficiency strategy describes the use and application of scientific processes to control agricultural water delivery and use to achieve a beneficial outcome. It includes an estimation of net water savings or increased production resulting from implementing efficiency measures as expressed by the ratio of output to input, resulting benefits, and strategies to achieve efficiency and benefits.
Oil, Food, and Water: Challenges and Opportunities for California Agriculture$0.00 Bulk Download
Oil, Food, and Water: Challenges and Opportunities for California AgriculturePacific Institute | December 1, 2015...Summary
A new comprehensive study by the Pacific Institute sheds light on the risks posed when oil and gas exploration and production operate alongside...
A new comprehensive study by the Pacific Institute sheds light on the risks posed when oil and gas exploration and production operate alongside agriculture.
“There is growing concern about competition for land and water, and the impacts of soil and water contamination on the food supply and health and safety of farmworkers and consumers,” said Matthew Heberger, the study’s lead author.
The disposal of oil and gas wastewater, which contains harmful chemicals, is a particular concern for agriculture. Disposal in unlined percolation pits poses a significant risk of contaminating groundwater resources that may, in turn, be used by agriculture. While this practice has been banned in several states, it is still widely used in California’s Central Valley, one of the nation’s most important agricultural regions. There are also serious deficiencies in the way California regulates the underground injection of wastes – current practices are not sufficiently protective of freshwater aquifers that may be used as drinking water or to irrigate crops and water livestock.
California Water Plan 2013: Sacramento River Hydrologic Region Report$0.00 Bulk Download
California Water Plan 2013: Sacramento River Hydrologic Region ReportCalifornia Department of Water Resources (DWR) | October 30, 2014...Summary
The Sacramento River Hydrologic Region (see Figure SR-1 includes the entire California drainage area of the Sacramento River (the state’s largest river) and...
The Sacramento River Hydrologic Region (see Figure SR-1 includes the entire California drainage area of the Sacramento River (the state’s largest river) and its tributaries. The region extends from Chipps Island in Solano County north to Goose Lake in Modoc County. It is bounded by the Sierra Nevada on the east, the Coast Ranges on the west, the Cascade and Trinity mountains on the north, and the Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta (Delta) on the south. The Sacramento River Basin actually begins in Oregon, north of Goose Lake, a near-sink that intercepts the Pit River drainage at the California-Oregon border.
Some key issues for this region are summarized here and discussed further later in this report.
Agriculture. Between 2005 and 2010, the region supported about 1.95 million acres of irrigated agriculture on average. Approximately 1.58 million acres is irrigated on the valley floor. The surrounding mountain valleys add about 370,000 irrigated acres to the region’s total — primarily as pasture and alfalfa. The gross value of agricultural production in the Sacramento Valley for 2011 was about $4.1 billion (California Department of Food and Agriculture 2013). Rice and walnuts are the highest grossing crops in the region followed by almonds and tomatoes. The direct, indirect, and induced effects of the agricultural industry to the regional economy are discussed in this report.
Groundwater. With a 2005-2010 average annual extraction volume of 2.7 million acre-feet (maf), groundwater pumping in the Sacramento River Hydrologic Region accounts for 17 percent of all the groundwater extraction in California — the third highest among the 10 hydrologic regions in California, behind Tulare Lake Hydrologic Region with 38 percent and San Joaquin River Hydrologic Region with 19 percent of the total. Overall, groundwater contributes to about 31 percent of the total water supply. Most groundwater extraction in the region occurs for agricultural water use (2.4 maf), meeting about one-third of agricultural water demands. Groundwater extraction for urban water use is significantly less (465 thousand acre-feet [taf]), which meets about half of the urban water needs. Groundwater levels for much of the region have declined from 2005 to 2010. Groundwater level declines ranging from 20 to 30 feet are seen in the northwestern portion of the Sacramento Valley Groundwater Basin. Declines ranging from to 10 to 20 feet are seen in the northern, the mid- to south-western, and the southeastern portions of the valley. For the rest of the Sacramento Valley Groundwater Basin and the Redding Area Groundwater Basin, groundwater level declines have
ranged from zero to 10 feet.
Flood. Exposure to a 500-year flood event in the region threatens approximately one in three residents, almost $65 billion in assets (crops, buildings, and public infrastructure), 1.2 million acres of agricultural land, and over 340 sensitive species. Almost 95 percent of Sutter County residents, more than 55 percent of Yuba County and Yolo County residents, and more than 50 percent of agricultural land region-wide are exposed to the 500-year flood event.
Climate Change. Several different climate regions overlie portions of the Sacramento River Hydrologic Region. Air temperature data collected for the past century has been summarized by the Western Regional Climate Center (WRCC) for the different regions which are outlined below.
- Within the WRCC North Central climate region, mean temperatures have increased by about 0.8 to 1.7 °F (0.4 to 0.9 °C) in the past century, with minimum and maximum temperatures increasing by about 1.2 to 2.1 °F (0.7 to 1.2 °C) and 0.1 to 1.5 °F (0.1 to 0.8 °C), respectively.
- Within the WRCC North East climate region, mean temperatures have increased by about 0.8 to 2.0 °F (0.5 to 1.1 °C) in the past century, with minimum and maximum temperatures increasing by about 0.9 to 2.2 °F (0.5 to 1.2 °C) and by 0.5 to 2.1 °F (0.3 to 1.2 °C), respectively.
- Within the WRCC Sierra climate region, mean temperatures have increased by about 0.8 to 2.0 °F (0.5 to 1.1 °C) in the past century, with minimum and maximum temperatures increasing and decreasing by about 1.7 to 2.8 °F (0.9 to 1.5 °C) and by -0.2 to 1.3 °F (-0.1 to 0.7 °C), respectively.
- Within the WRCC Sacramento-Delta climate region, mean temperatures have increased by about 1.5 to 2.4 °F (0.9 to 1.3 °C) in the past century, with minimum and maximum temperatures increasing by about 2.1 to 3.1 °F (1.2 to 1.7 °C) and by 0.8 to 2.0 °F (0.4 to 1.1 °C), respectively (Western
Regional Climate Center 2013).
The region also is currently experiencing impacts from climate change through changes in statewide precipitation and surface runoff volumes, which in turn affect availability of local and imported water supplies. During the last century, the average early snowpack in the Sierra Nevada decreased by about 10 percent, which equates to a loss of 1.5 maf of snowpack storage (California Department of Water Resources 2008). Projections and impacts based on modeling of climate change are included in this report.