California-Nevada Chapter SWCS

Chapter Annual Conference and Tour, June 17 and 18, 2014

Retired NRCS Soil Scientist Kerry Arroues

Retired NRCS Soil Scientist Kerry Arroues explains to SWCS 2 conference tour group about the plumbing and water management of the Tulare Lake Basin. Hanford, CA, June 18, 2014. Photo by Phil Hogan

NRCS Soil Conservationist Rebecca Elwood

NRCS Soil Conservationist Rebecca Elwood from Fresno observes extensive planting of new almond orchard near Panoche Creek blowout. Where is the water going to come from to irrigated the thousands of new acres of orchards in the San Joaquin Valley?  This was a stop for the SWCS conference tour.  June 18, 2014.  Photo by Phil Hogan

Retired NRCS Soil Scientist Kerry Arroues

Retired NRCS Soil Scientist Kerry Arroues explains to SWCS conference tour group about the plumbing and water management of the California Aqueduct.  The California Department of Water Resources installed structures to keep sediment out of the California Aqueduct.  June 18, 2014. Photo by Phil Hogan

NRCS District Conservationist Wendy Rash

NRCS District Conservationist Wendy Rash (Dixon Field Office) examines maps of the California Aqueduct during the tour held as part of the SWCS CA/NV Chapter annual conference. June 18, 2014, Photo by Phil Hogan

Old service station

Old service station (Three Rock Service) on W. Panoche Road near Mendota. The service station has sunk as a result of land subsidence. SWCS CA/NV Chapter Annual Conference tour, June 18, 2014. Photo by Phil Hogan

Cardella Winery, West Panoche Road, Mendota, CA.

Cardella Winery, West Panoche Road, Mendota, CA. SWCS CA/NV Chapter annual conference tour stop. The tour group ate lunch here, and was addressed by Nathan Cardella, winemaker. June 18, 2014. Photo by Phil Hogan

Lunch at Cardella Winery, West Panoche Road, Mendota, CA.

Lunch at Cardella Winery, West Panoche Road, Mendota, CA. SWCS Ca/NV Chapter annual conference tour. June 18, 2014. Photos by Phil Hogan.

Lunch at Cardella Winery, West Panoche Road, Mendota, CA.

Lunch at Cardella Winery, West Panoche Road, Mendota, CA. SWCS Ca/NV Chapter annual conference tour. June 18, 2014. Photos by Phil Hogan.

Lunch at Cardella Winery, West Panoche Road, Mendota, CA.

Lunch at Cardella Winery, West Panoche Road, Mendota, CA. SWCS Ca/NV Chapter annual conference tour. June 18, 2014. Photos by Phil Hogan.

Nathan Cardella, Winemaker. Cardella Winery

SWCS CA/NV Chapter annual tour. Nathan Cardella, Winemaker. Cardella Winery sits at “ground-zero” of the land subsidence problem in the San Joaquin Valley. Tour participants and Mr. Cardella engaged in sobering, and informative, conversation about the issues facing farmers in the San Joaquin Valley. The winery, like most farms in the Valley this year, are 100% reliant on groundwater; much of which is “fossil water,” or, water that cannot never be replenished by recharge again. Mr. Cardella stated that farmers are as equally concerned, if not more so, than other members of the public on the impact they are having on the groundwater resource. If they do not use this resource, their businesses, and, their way of life, will cease to exist. June 18, 2014. Photo by Phil Hogan

Chapter President Rob Roy

SWCS CA/NV Chapter President Rob Roy taking in the conversation held at the Cardella Winery as part of the Chapter’s annual conference tour. June 18, 2014. Photo by Phil Hogan

Utility Post show subsidence

SWCS CA/NV Chapter annual conference tour group on West Panoche Road, Mendota, CA, just down the road from the Cardella Winery. This utility post is at the site of the infamous photo taken by Mr. Ireland of the USGS, showing the elevation changes of the land due to subsidence over the last several decades. June 18, 2014. Photo by Phil Hogan

Approximate location of maximum subsidence in the United States

Approximate location of maximum subsidence in the United States identified by research efforts of Dr. Joseph F. Poland (pictured). Signs on pole show approximate altitude of land surface in 1925, 1955, and 1977. The site is in the San Joaquin Valley southwest of Mendota, California. Credit: Dick Ireland, USGS.

The women of the SWCS CA/NV Chapter

The women of the SWCS CA/NV Chapter annual conference tour group have it all figured out. June 18, 2014. Photo by Phil Hogan

Retired USDA NRCS Soil Scientist Kerry Arroues

Retired USDA NRCS Soil Scientist Kerry Arroues explaining the unique geology of the Panoche Creek watershed. SWCS CA/NV Chapter annual conference tour. June 18, 2014. Photo by Phil Hogan

Orchards below the upper reaches of the Panoche Creek watershed

Just below the upper reaches of the Panoche Creek watershed, orchards have recently been planted. These orchards are drawing on a groundwater resource that may not be there for too many more years. SWCS CA/NV Chapter annual conference tour. June 18, 2014. Photo by Phil Hogan

A portion of the abandoned San Luis Drain

A portion of the abandoned San Luis Drain in Fresno County. Marine sedimentary rocks of the Coast Ranges contribute selenium to soil, surface water, and ground water in the western San Joaquin Valley, California. Irrigation funnels selenium into a network of subsurface drains and canals. Proposals to build a master drain (i.e., San Luis Drain) to discharge into the San Francisco Bay-Delta Estuary remain as controversial today as they were in the 1950s, when drainage outside the San Joaquin Valley was first considered. An existing 85-mile portion of the San Luis Drain was closed in 1986 after fish mortality and deformities in ducks, grebes and coots were discovered at Kesterson National Wildlife Refuge, the temporary terminus of the drain. A 28-mile portion of the drain now conveys drainage from 100,000 acres into the San Joaquin River and eventually into the Bay-Delta. If the San Luis Drain is extended directly to the Bay-Delta, as is now being proposed as an alternative to sustain agriculture, it could receive drainage from an estimated one-million acres of farmland affected by rising water tables and increasing salinity. In addition to agricultural sources, oil refineries also discharge selenium to the Bay-Delta, although those discharges have declined in recent years. To understand the effects of changing selenium inputs, scientists have developed the Bay-Delta Selenium Model. (information from USGS)

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