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Surplus and Shortage: California’s Water Balancing Act

As climate change accelerates, it’s bringing more extreme weather to California: The dry periods are hotter and drier than ever before—and the wet periods can be torrential. The only certainty is that water managers at every level will have to plan for and respond to extremes. How can we cope with the increasing volatility of our water cycle? We bring together three panels of experts to find out.

Report

Solar Energy and Groundwater in the San Joaquin Valley

By Andrew Ayres, Annabelle Rosser, Ellen Hanak, Alvar Escriva-Bou ...

Hundreds of thousands of acres of irrigated farmland may come out of production in the San Joaquin Valley in coming decades. At the same time, the state needs to ramp up renewable energy generation to meet climate goals. Could solar development on fallowed land help the valley’s residents? Our new report examines the challenges and opportunities.

Policy Brief

Policy Brief: The Role of CalFresh in Stabilizing Family Incomes

By Caroline Danielson, Tess Thorman, Vicki Hsieh

As policymakers consider ways to strengthen the connections between safety net participation and economic mobility, a better understanding of the job and income instability CalFresh participants face is critical.

Report

The Role of CalFresh in Stabilizing Family Incomes

By Caroline Danielson, Tess Thorman

CalFresh—California’s largest safety net program—helps mitigate income instability for many low-income families. But those without recent employment often do not experience this stabilizing effect. Additional efforts to automate income reporting and ensure that individuals can access CalFresh as soon as they are eligible could strengthen the program’s reach and impact.

Report

Storing Water for the Environment

By Sarah Null, Jeffrey Mount, Brian Gray, Kristen Dybala ...

Large reservoirs are essential for managing water in California’s highly variable climate—but over the years, the construction and operation of these reservoirs have had significant environmental costs. Our new research outlines how reservoir operations could be changed to improve the health of the state’s fragile freshwater ecosystems.

blog post

Is SGMA Compatible with Farmland Preservation?

By Annabelle Rosser

The implementation of SGMA will prompt land use transitions throughout the San Joaquin Valley, raising questions about how the state's chief agricultural preservation policy - the Williamson Act - will come into play. Many alternate uses are likely to be compatible with the program, while others - namely solar – are more complex.

Report

Land Transitions and Dust in the San Joaquin Valley

By Andrew Ayres, Jaymin Kwon, Joy Collins

Agricultural operations and wind erosion are two of the largest sources of dust in the San Joaquin Valley, and the valley’s air quality may decline with increased farmland fallowing and a warmer, drier climate. This will impact low-income, rural communities first and foremost, but proactive management can help identify high-risk areas and direct funding to cost-effective interventions.

Report

Exploring the Potential for Water-Limited Agriculture in the San Joaquin Valley

By Caitlin Peterson, Cameron Pittelkow, Mark Lundy

As irrigated farmland comes out of production in the San Joaquin Valley, valley residents will face increased pests, weeds, and dust—as well as a loss of employment and economic activity. Water-limited cropping is one alternative to fallowing that can improve soil health and air quality, create habitat, and keep land in production.

Report

Employment Patterns for CalFresh Adults

By Tess Thorman, Caroline Danielson

CalFresh provides food assistance to about 4.5 million low-income Californians. While many adults who access CalFresh are working, their jobs may be temporary or unstable. Understanding changes in employment before, during, and after adults enroll in CalFresh can help policymakers and administrators better align the program with workers’ needs.

blog post

Video: Health Care Access among California’s Farmworkers

By Stephanie Barton

PPIC’s Paulette Cha presents new research on how recent policy changes affected insurance coverage and access to health care for farmworkers, and discusses farmworker health with an expert panel.

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