From the SJV Greenprint Phase II Summary Report:
"The San Joaquin Valley (SJV) is one of the world’s most productive agricultural regions; is a vital link in California’s complex water delivery and transportation systems; provides important habitat to protect biodiversity; and is a center for oil and solar energy production. The region has a unique set of assets and challenges related to its agricultural land, growing population centers, biodiversity, energy production, and water availability.
The San Joaquin Valley Greenprint project grew out of the San Joaquin Valley Blueprint... The Blueprint focused on urban challenges, particularly the relationship of land use to transportation, and developed a set of smart growth principles that should minimize development impacts on the non-urban lands of the Valley. The Blueprint revealed the need for better regional mapping of the Valley’s non-urban areas to assist land use and resource management decisions...
The SJV Greenprint is primarily a collection of maps, assembled as a comprehensive, interactive database that catalogs current conditions and trends related to the region’s resources. The maps and data collected for the SJV Greenprint are publicly available through the San Joaquin Valley Data Basin Gateway (http://sjvp.databasin.org)... The collection demonstrates how these resources are interrelated across political boundaries and how they are changing under the influence of population growth, changing land use practices, resource limitations, and changing climate.
Phase I of the Greenprint focused on identifying and mapping Valley resources for the eight counties that comprise the San Joaquin Valley, including Kern, Tulare, Kings, Fresno, Madera, Merced, Stanislaus, and San Joaquin Counties... The compiled information includes over 100 datasets related to agriculture, biodiversity, energy, and water resources, as well as supplemental datasets including land use planning, transportation, soils, and land cover...
Phase II of the SJV Greenprint was intended to build on and extend the work in Phase I by demonstrating the real world utility of this information. The Demonstration Projects, described in Section IV, serve as case studies for the use of Greenprint data. A second objective of Phase II was to find an appropriate platform for these curated resources, specifically a host that could provide a user-friendly interface as well as the capacity to update and maintain the data. The San Joaquin Valley Gateway, hosted by Data Basin, was identified as the best platform... A third objective of Phase II was to shed light on key questions and insights into various resource management challenges in the Valley through outreach to experts, regional councils of government, and county planning directors...
Please continue to read the SJV Phase II Summary Report in full HERE.
Summary and Conclusions from SRT’s San Joaquin Valley Greenprint Demonstration Project
The State of the Valley Report identifies water as “one of the central management challenges of the San Joaquin Valley,” and emphasizes that “[b]oth surface water and water pumped from underground aquifers are critical to the region’s farming, ranching, urban users, industry, and natural ecosystems.” Implementation of the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act (SGMA) is just beginning, but the overall dialogue about water sustainability has focused more on technological solutions than on ways to improve the natural ability of watersheds to absorb, store and gradually release water in forms useful to people and the land. Sequoia Riverlands Trust’s (SRT’s) San Joaquin Valley Greenprint Demonstration Project explores the potential contribution of land-based strategies to watershed effectiveness, usable water supply and groundwater sustainability, focusing on three themes:
These approaches are not new. Many have been extensively researched, incorporated into funding programs and regulatory requirements, and applied to varying degrees.However, relatively little attention has been paid to the relationship of these land-based strategies to effective watershed function and groundwater sustainability. Sequoia Riverlands Trust applied existing Greenprint data and other information to map areas where these approaches might yield the greatest water-related benefits, and to roughly quantify their potential contribution to groundwater sustainability in the Kaweah and Tule River Watersheds.
Our results suggest that practical applications of these strategies could offset at least 25% of the annual groundwater deficit in the Kaweah and Tule River Watersheds by addressing both the supply and demand sides of the water balance equation. This assertion is based on estimates that:
Furthermore, all of these land-based strategies provide additional ecological, economic and community benefits, such as increased agricultural production, flood management, habitat enhancement, drought resilience and aesthetic values, that make them politically palatable alternatives to new dams or regulations about water use. Water-focusedland conservation, restoration and management strategies therefore deserve serious consideration as we work together to solve our region’s pressing groundwater sustainability concerns.
Thorne et al., 2014.
 Cal. Water Code § 10720 et seq.
Please view the project PowerPoint presentation HERE.
Premiere Date: 5/5/2017 | from University of California Television
How researchers at UC Merced are developing a better understanding of the three sources of water upon which California depends in order to adapt to the effects of environmental changes and make better use of this most precious of our natural resources.
by Matt Weiser for Water Deeply
California Department of Water Resources manually opens 25 gates at the Sacramento Weir, which directs water from the Sacramento River through the Sacramento Bypass Wildlife Area and into the Yolo Bypass, on February 9, 2017. Experts say more floodplains like the Yolo Bypass are needed to help California weather extremes of drought and floods.Florence Low / California Department of Water Resources
IN JUST A few short weeks, Californians have been reminded that drought has an evil twin: flooding.
Droughts in the Golden State often end with floods, as seems to be happening this winter. But the state’s political and economic fortunes always seem to swing between the two, leaving precious little opportunity to explore the terrain where they intersect.
One place that happens is on floodplains. When rivers swell, floodplains absorb the excess flow, protecting cities built along rivers, recharging groundwater and providing vital aquatic habitat – all at the same time. When drought swings back, we can pump out the groundwater to serve farms and neighborhoods.
There are precious few floodplains left in California. Development long ago eliminated all but about 5 percent of the state’s original floodplain wetlands, aided by levee building that forced rivers into narrow channels between fragile levees.
Now a new effort is building to reunite rivers with their floodplains, a movement that could take the sting out of both drought and flooding.
“We’re kind of reimagining the management of groundwater and surface water,” said Graham Fogg, a professor of hydrogeology at University of California, Davis. “The more we look at it, the more optimistic we are that there are ways to do this differently and better.”
A major step in the transition is anticipated later this year, when state officials are expected to approve a new Central Valley Flood Protection Plan. The plan is expected to include a new “conservation strategy” intended to encourage flood safety agencies to incorporate habitat and water supply components in their levee projects.
What this means, in practice, is floodplain restoration. One way of doing that is to expand narrow river channels by moving levees farther apart. These so-called “setback levees” increase holding capacity for floodwaters between levees, and they also create new riparian habitat.
Continue to read in full HERE.
WaterSMART Funding Opportunity Available from Bureau of Reclamation for On-the-Ground Watershed Management Projects
Cooperative Watershed Management Program allows watershed groups to partner with Reclamation to complete on-the-ground watershed management projects
Media Contact: Peter Soeth, 303-445-3615
WASHINGTON - The Bureau of Reclamation has released a funding opportunity for the Cooperative Watershed Management Program Phase II grants, which provides funding to watershed groups for on-the-ground watershed management projects. The funding opportunity announcement is available at www.grants.gov by searching for funding opportunity BOR-DO-17-F013. Applications are due on February 15, 2017 at 4:00 p.m. MST.
Funding will be provided on a cost-share basis for projects that improve the ecological resiliency of rivers, streams and riparian areas, conserve water for multiple uses, and reduce conflicts over water through collaborative management efforts within the watershed. Eligible project types include, but are not limited to, projects to improve stream channel structure and complexity, water conservation or management activities that improve ecological resilience, and projects to address water quality issues.
The President's budget request includes $1.75 million for the Cooperative Watershed Management Program. It is anticipated that 14 to 16 awards will be made under this funding opportunity.
To be eligible, applicants must be a grassroots, nonregulatory watershed group that addresses water availability and quality issues within the relevant watershed, represent a diverse group of stakeholders, and can promote the sustainable use of water resources within the watershed. The applicant must also have approved articles of incorporation and bylaws and have developed a restoration plan and project concepts for the watershed.
Learn more about the WaterSMART Cooperative Watershed Management Program and this new funding opportunity at https://www.usbr.gov/watersmart/cwmp.
WaterSMART is the U.S. Department of the Interior’s sustainable water initiative that uses the best available science to improve water conservation and help water resource managers identify strategies to narrow the gap between supply and demand. To learn more about WaterSMART, please visit https://www.usbr.gov/watersmart.