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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.

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.

Policy Brief

Policy Brief: Storing Water for the Environment

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

To protect and restore California’s freshwater ecosystems and respond to the changing climate, California’s water managers must change how they operate reservoirs. Our policy brief offers recommendations for how to do this in a way that makes the most efficient use of scarce water for the environment while minimizing impacts on other water uses.

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Farmland in Transition: The San Joaquin Valley

As the San Joaquin Valley works to bring its groundwater basins into balance, hundreds of thousands of acres of irrigated farmland may come out of production. How do we manage all this newly fallowed land? Our latest research examines whether water-limited agriculture might help ease the transition—and what other management practices could mitigate dust and air quality concerns in the valley.

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.

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Homeownership Trends in California

By Hans Johnson, Marisol Cuellar Mejia, Julien Lafortune, Cesar Alesi Perez

California’s homeownership rate is among the lowest in the nation, but varies widely across the state. The share of families owning the home they live in has changed little in the past 60 years.

Report

Understanding the Effects of School Funding

By Julien Lafortune

Funding for California’s K–12 public schools has reached record highs, but gaps in student outcomes remain. Understanding the benefits of additional funds, and how to distribute those funds, are key concerns for policymakers. This report offers insights from a robust body of research on the extent to which higher spending improves outcomes.

blog post

What Every Californian Should Know About Groundwater

By Sarah Bardeen

In honor of World Water Day and its theme—“Groundwater—making the invisible visible”—we asked a handful of PPIC Water Policy Center staff to discuss groundwater and drought in California.

blog post

Gas Prices Stretch Family Budgets

By Sarah Bohn, Daniel Payares-Montoya

California has recently seen its highest average gas price on record. Combined with higher prices in other key budget areas, rising gas prices pose a challenge for households around the state, especially those with lower incomes.

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