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Orchard Management 
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California’s Mediterranean climate is conducive to producing high-yielding, high-quality almond crops year-in and year-out. While these ideal growing conditions form the backdrop for the state’s productivity, it is our ability to store and distribute water for irrigation during the dry growing season that is the key to this success.

With rain and snow falling almost exclusively in the winter and early spring and mostly in the north part of the state, Californians rely on an intricate system of dams that create reservoirs for storage, and canals to distribute stored water as needed to irrigate crops. The snowpack in the Sierra Nevada Mountains acts as an additional water storage device, recharging rivers, reservoirs, and ground-water supplies as it slowly melts during the dry months. Underground aquifers provide an additional source of water that is tapped by wells for irrigation and other uses.

Water issues

This decade has seen the convergence of several issues affecting the state’s water supplies.

  • 40 years of sustained population growth throughout California.
  • Light rainfall and a thin snowpack in recent years have reduced the amount of water in storage both aboveground and underground.
  • An aging and inadequate storage and delivery system cannot meet the state’s water needs.
  • The failing of the infrastructure of the Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta, the “crossroads” of the state’s water delivery system.
  • Legal and environmental issues, such as the protection of endangered species that require Delta pumps to be shut down during critical periods of water delivery.

Related Links:
Up-to-date information on California’s water issues are available on the following Web sites.

Association of California Water Agencies 

Public Policy Institute of California 

California Farm Water Coalition

Delta Vision

California Farm Water Coalition

Water Education Foundation

 

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