Water Stress in San Joaquin Valley

Public Policy Institute of California
By Lori Pottinger

March 14, 2017

The San Joaquin Valley―California’s largest agricultural region―faces growing water stress that will bring significant changes to the region’s farms, communities, and economy. Increased cooperation and coordination from the region’s complex mix of agencies and water users is needed to address water shortages and water-related environmental and public health challenges. These are key takeaways from an event in Clovis last week, co-sponsored by the PPIC Water Policy Center and the California Water Institute at Fresno State.

Ellen Hanak, director of the PPIC Water Policy Center, introduced the discussion by summarizing the findings of a new PPIC report on the drivers of water stress in the San Joaquin Valley—the state’s most water-dependent economy—and some tools and strategies that can help. “The valley is an agricultural powerhouse,” Hanak said. “A lot is at stake for the region’s economy, communities, and the environment.”

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