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Coldwater Mitigation with the California Department of Water Resources and Rice Growers

crop yield geospatial analysis Agriculture Remote Sensing Water Resources

Beginning in 2006, Land IQ personnel were instrumental in developing, negotiating, and implementing a settlement agreement between three rice-growing irrigation districts and the California Department of Water Resources (collectively the Parties). The Parties sought an agreeable means to determine fair compensation for rice crop yield loss (valued between $1M and $3M/year) due to lower water temperatures caused by operation of the State’s Oroville Reservoir. District diversions pre-dated the reservoir’s construction. The agreed technical methods had to be specific enough to provide the Parties certainty, defensible and credible enough to gain stakeholders’ financial support, and sufficiently flexible to allow future innovations to improve efficiency and/or accuracy. The agreement was signed in April 2008.

Land IQ has provided diverse technical support to the Parties during implementation by overseeing water temperature and yield monitoring, developing monitoring methods and databases, coordinating with growers, and conducting sophisticated geospatial analyses to identify and quantify fields, irrigation system features, and rice crop extent and yield. We developed a unique and accurate method of estimating rice yield loss from cold water damage using geospatial analytical techniques. Our success on this project is the result of a highly integrated team of scientists working together to create innovative and meaningful solutions for our client.