Ground Water Economics in the San Joaquin Valley

by John R. Teerink, Bookman-Edmonston Engineering Inc, Sacramento, CA, USA,
Burt A. Babcock, Bookman-Edmonston Engineering Inc, Sacramento, CA, USA,

Document Type: Proceeding Paper

Part of: Economics and Groundwater


Ground water pumping in the San Joaquin Valley to supplement surface water supplies has increased from about 200 thousand acre-feet per year at the beginning of this century to nine million acre-feet per year curently, with 90 percent used for agriculture. Extraction of ground water in excess of replenishment has created an overdraft of approximately 1. 7 million acre-feet per year, with pumping lifts of up to 600 feet. Where alternative surface water supplies are not available, overdrafting with increasing pumping lifts and costs will continue to the extent that an economic return to the pumper is realized. The opportunity exists to stretch the ground water supplies and more effectively utilize imported surface supplies at lower overall cost through a number of conjunctive use programs. These include water exchanges between entities, ground water banking arrangements, construction of ground water recharge and extraction facilities, additional distribution systems and use of off-stream aqueduct capacity to convey surplus water from the Sacramento Valley.

Subject Headings: Water supply systems | Surface water | Groundwater | Economic factors | Water resources | Groundwater supply | Groundwater management | Irrigation water | California | United States

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