The San Joaquin Valley: Salinity and Drainage Problems and the Framework for a Response

Chapter
Part of the Global Issues in Water Policy book series (GLOB, volume 5)

Abstract

Irrigated crop production has drastically altered the hydrological attributes and groundwater flow patterns of the San Joaquin Valley especially in the Westside. The leaching process flushed out trace elements such as Se, B, As, and U contained in marine sediments from the Jurassic to Miocene periods that were deposited in the surface soil layer. Pumping of groundwater lying deep in confined aquifer resulted in severe land subsidence. Water made available through inter-basin transfer expanded the irrigated acreages. By the time, selenium poisoning of birds and fishes took place at the Kerstersen Reservoir, salinity drainage has become an issue requiring immediate and long term solutions.

Keywords

Water Table Root Zone Groundwater System Vadose Zone Irrigation Schedule 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

Notes

Acknowledgments

The author acknowledges decades of productive collaborations of his colleague, N. T. Narasimhan. This work started as an educational exercise on the part of a hydrogeologist (T.N. Narasimhan) and an earth scientist and water resources engineer (N.W.T. Quinn) to synthesize our understanding of the important technical issues pertaining to irrigated agriculture on the Westside of the San Joaquin Valley. Because of the breadth of the technical questions involved, much new material beyond our areas of expertise was digested. We are indebted to the following for thoughtful, critical reviews of the first draft of this manuscript: James E. Ayars, John Fio, Wilford R. Gardner, Mark E. Grismer, Edgar A. Imhoff, Keith C. Knapp, John Letey, Theresa Presser, J. van Schilfgaarde, Donald L. Suarez, K.K. Tanji, H.J. Vaux, Jr. and Wesley Wallender. We are thankful to Manucher Alemi, Kenneth Belitz, Sally M. Benson, and David Zilberman for constructive criticisms of the revised manuscript. This work was partly supported by the Salinity and Drainage Task Force of the University of California and partly by the Regional Research Funds of the Agricultural Extension Service.

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© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Materials Science and Engineering Division, Lawrence Berkeley National LaboratoryUniversity of CaliforniaBerkeleyUSA

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