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Southern California Water Company Crop Water Use

groundwater irrigation Agriculture Water Resources

Land IQ staff prepared testimony for Santa Clara County Superior Court on behalf of Southern California Water Company for a groundwater adjudication case in the Santa Maria Valley. This work  involved expert witness testimony, both in deposition and in trial settings.

Land IQ undertook a year-long effort to assess crop water use for an historical 58-year period over a 164,000-acre basin. The work focused on pumped water and return flows to groundwater under irrigated and non-irrigated areas. Crop and native vegetation evapotranspiration and soil storage were modeled. Water was assessed to ensure adequate quality for sensitive crops.

Stabilization Of Exposed Salton Sea Bed For Imperial Irrigation District

erosion air quality irrigation Water Resources Restoration Ecology

Water transfers and conservation in California’s Imperial Valley have reduced drainage flows to the adjacent Salton Sea, resulting in receding shoreline and exposure of vast expanses of fragile, erodible Sea floor. As part of the Salton Sea Ecosystem Restoration Program, Land IQ has contracted with the Imperial Irrigation District (IID) to identify strategies for stabilizing these lands, either by developing them for particular uses, protecting them from traffic, planting protective covers, roughening surfaces to disrupt wind, or combinations of these approaches. This has involved working extensively with local, state, and federal air quality agencies and other stakeholder groups. Land IQ’ work has involved air quality monitoring and mitigation, coordinating efforts with regulatory and water transfer partners, developing air quality and habitat enhancement projects and other special projects.

Some specific work efforts include:

  • Projection of air quality impacts resulting from the largest agriculture-urban water transfer in US history.
  • Land IQ evaluated both fallowed farmland and exposed Salton Sea playa land surfaces. A mitigation program was developed for dust emissions and presented before the California State Water Quality Control Board.
  • Assessment of potential Salton Sea dust emissions and development of dust control technologies, including establishment of a pilot program for testing of control technologies and habitat restoration measures.
  • Development of an innovative Habitat and Air Quality Management Project that employs networked, linear habitat channels to preemptively control dust over most of the future Salton Sea Playa.
  • Assessment of background geographic and air quality data to support regional air quality monitoring network design.

Tehama Colusa Canal Authority Deficit Irrigation Impact Assessment

irrigation crop yield Agriculture

Land IQ staff prepared expert witness testimony for United States District Court – Eastern District of California (Judge Oliver W. Wanger) on behalf of the Tehama Colusa Canal Authority. Land IQ prepared a detailed evaluation of the influence of regulated deficit irrigation on a variety of crops including almonds, grapes, walnuts, rice, olives, alfalfa, tomatoes and other permanent and annual field and row crops.

The preparation of this testimony was conducted to determine the deficit of irrigation water at pre-determined periods correlating to the growth cycles of the crops mentioned above, especially perennial crops (e.g., almonds). The results of this work indicate the extreme detrimental effects of insufficient irrigation during key growth stages of the crop. Land IQ continues to work extensively with growers, industry representatives, and local and state resources as a multi-stakeholder entity.