E. W. Hilgard and the History of Irrigation in the San Joaquin Valley: Stunning Productivity, Slowly Undone by Inadequate Drainage

  • James D. OsterEmail author
  • Dennis Wichelns
Part of the Global Issues in Water Policy book series (GLOB, volume 5)


After the California gold rush in 1894, the attention turned to farming. Soon irrigated agriculture flourished aided by federal policies in settling the West and providing water supply. It continued to expand with favorable water rights and policies, advancements in irrigation technologies, and imported water supplies. The need of subsurface drainage was long understood but failed to materialize due to lack of collective actions. The salinity drainage predicament in the San Joaquin Valley culminated in the selenium eco-toxicological harms further complicated the disposal issues.


Drainage Water Irrigate Agriculture Evaporation Pond Water District Agricultural Drainage Water 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Environmental SciencesUniversity of CaliforniaRiversideUSA
  2. 2.Institute of Water Policy, Lee Kuan Yew School of Public PolicyNational University of SingaporeSingaporeSingapore

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