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Fact Sheet

Groundwater in California

By Kyle Greenspan, Spencer Cole, Caitlin Peterson

Groundwater is a vital, but threatened, component of California’s water supply. Learn more about this important resource!


Replenishing Groundwater in the San Joaquin Valley: 2024 Update

By Caitlin Peterson, Ellen Hanak, Zaira Joaquín Morales

How much progress has been made on groundwater recharge in the San Joaquin Valley since 2017? This report shares the details of our latest groundwater recharge survey, which we conducted in 2023.


Stewarding California’s Wet Years

California has made great strides in preparing for a drier, hotter future, but it remains a challenge to harness the bounty of wet years while also reducing flood risk. How did California’s water sector manage the unusually wet conditions of the 2023 water year—and what lessons can we glean for the future? We speak with three panels of experts to find out.

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Video: Managing Water and Farmland Transitions in the San Joaquin Valley

By Sarah Bardeen

For the past seven years, the PPIC Water Policy Center has been researching how the San Joaquin Valley can adapt to a future with less water. On September 20, we held a special half-day event that drew together an array of growers, water managers, agency staff, and others to discuss how to best manage the changes ahead. Read our writeup—and watch the videos!

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Commentary: Water-use Challenges Affecting Farmers Means Reinventing the San Joaquin Valley

By Ellen Hanak, Caitlin Peterson

To ensure the San Joaquin Valley’s future, groundwater overpumping has to end—and some 500,000 acres of farmland will likely need to come out of intensively irrigated production. But unplanned, haphazard fallowing would harm the valley. In our Fresno Bee commentary, we share insights on how to protect the valley’s residents, agriculture, and environment, drawing on over seven years of research.


Managing Water and Farmland Transitions in the San Joaquin Valley

By Ellen Hanak, Andrew Ayres, Caitlin Peterson, Alvar Escriva-Bou ...

How can the San Joaquin Valley adapt to a future with less water? We’ve been researching this issue for the past seven years, and our new report presents highlights from we’ve learned, including a robust list of policy suggestions to help the valley weather—and make the most of—the coming changes.

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How Might Small Farms Fare Under SGMA?

By Spencer Cole, Ellen Hanak, Alvar Escriva-Bou

Change is coming to the heavily agricultural San Joaquin Valley, as irrigation water declines due to climate change, new environmental regulations, and SGMA. But how will these changes affect farms of different sizes in the valley? We finally have answers.

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Mapping Farms by Size in the San Joaquin Valley

By Andrew Ayres, Zaira Joaquín Morales, Ellen Hanak

The San Joaquin Valley will have to adapt to a future with less water for irrigation under the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act. Some have raised concerns that this could put smaller farms at a disadvantage—but is this true? To gain insight on this issue, we decided to take a closer look, exploring where San Joaquin Valley farms of different sizes are located—and what they grow.

Fact Sheet

Water Use in California

By Jeffrey Mount, Ellen Hanak, Caitlin Peterson

To understand California’s water, start here. Water use in California varies dramatically between wet and dry years: learn who’s using California’s water, where, and how much.

Fact Sheet

Water Use in California’s Agriculture

By Caitlin Peterson, Alvar Escriva-Bou, Josué Medellín-Azuara, Spencer Cole

California is an agricultural powerhouse that relies heavily on irrigation. Discover how much water the sector uses and how groundwater laws and climate change are bringing change.

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