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Sustainable Conservation
 

Sustainable Conservation

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Presentation given by Ladi Asgill of Sustainable Conservation at the Session: "Water, Energy and Climate Change" at the Great Valley Center's Sacramento Valley Forum on October 28, 2009 in Chico, CA.

Presentation given by Ladi Asgill of Sustainable Conservation at the Session: "Water, Energy and Climate Change" at the Great Valley Center's Sacramento Valley Forum on October 28, 2009 in Chico, CA.

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  • Over the past 15 years, Suscon has had success with helping dairy industry promote digesters to convert the 60 billion pounds of manure that was an environmental challenge into an economically viable renewable energy invstmemn. Today we are working with the San Joaquin air district to develop solutions to the very strict air emissions standards preventing further expansion. In this way we have turned an environmentally challengeing problem into a economically viable solution. A viable farming economy does not have to live at odds with tne enviroments. We belive that when given the right incentives, farmers will do the right thing. We are also working to promote a variety of farming practices (like conservation tillage) and renewable energy technologies that also have greenhouse gas reduction benefits. Our core mssion is to find solutrions to protect clean air and water by partnering with industry to find solutions.
  • Earlier melting Snow water equivalent Peak snow mass earlier 3-12 Deg F increase in temp. US Geologic survey 60 million ac ft since 1961. 400 ft drop since 1961 Unregulated ground water pumping Sacramento valley ok. Most drop in San Joaquin Valley
  • Economic modelling suggests that water for Sacramento valley agriculture could be reduced as much as a quarter by 2050. This would result from not only from the effects of a reduced snow pack but also from increased demand from urban population centers. It would simply make better economic sense to sell water than to grow a crop. Westside farmer sells water for $77 million Hanford Sentinel-8/25/09 By Seth Nidever Forget gold. In Kings County, water gets most of the attention. More specifically, it’s the prospect of losing local water rights to outside entities that gets everybody’s dander up. That's why the Kings County Water Commission spent a good chunk of a Monday night meeting talking about a Westside landowner who plans to sell 14,000 acre-feet of water a year to the Mojave Water Agency in San Bernardino County for $5,500 per acre-foot. That’s $77 million of the wet stuff headed out of the county for likely urban development (an acre-foot is enough water to supply a typical home for a year, according to Wikipedia). The tradeoff is that the unnamed landowner — a member of a Bay Area company called Sandridge Partners, based in Sunnyvale — plans to cut down 2,500 acres of his almond trees along Interstate 5 near Kettleman City. Normally, that probably wouldn’t rank high on the concerns of the water commission — The land is far away from Hanford, it doesn’t affect Kings River water users and it’s California Aqueduct water coming from the Sacramento River, anyway. But the concern is that the pattern could become more common as scarce water becomes more valuable as a commodity than as a way of growing crops. “ Higher bidders are bidding for the water and are willing to pay more,” said Don Mills, commission member. Mills said he’d like to stop Sandridge from selling the water, but that Kings County “has no legal authority (to stop it).” Dudley Ridge Water District, where Sandridge’s land is located, has adopted a policy divvying its water among member property owners. That gives each the right to sell their share. No representatives from Sandridge Partners or Dudley Ridge Water District spoke at Monday’s meeting. According to Mills, however, Sandridge plans to use part of the $77 million to buy groundwater rights on adjacent land in Kings and Tulare counties in order to keep at least some of its almond trees alive. The groundwater might be lower quality, but it is a more reliable water supply than Aqueduct water, which has been reduced severely due to drought and environmental issues in the Sacramento River delta. “ It’s a matter of economics,” said Mark Gilkey, general manager of the Tulare Lake Basin Water Storage District, in an interview. Property owners in his water district have done the same thing in the past, Gilkey said. As with most water discussions in Kings County, Monday’s comments quickly turned to the topic of new dams — a sore point in Sacramento as Democratic legislators balk at new storage projects and Republican lawmakers, along with Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, say they won’t support anything that doesn’t include new dams. “ The answer’s got to be more [water] contracts,” said commission member John Howe, adding that the reshuffling of the existing water supply is “delaying the inevitable.”# http://hanfordsentinel.com/articles/2009/08/26/news/doc4a941aa622e70892149469.txt
  • Field crops – Rice, Beans, Corn Hay, Pasture Tree crops- Fruit and Nut crops Vegetables
  • In operation at Sano Farms (Talk with Jesse)

Sustainable Conservation Sustainable Conservation Presentation Transcript

  • Water: More than a Peripheral Issue Sacramento Valley Forum • October 28, 2009 Ladi Asgill, Agricultural Economist Environmental solutions that make economic sense.
  • For more than 15 years, Sustainable Conservation has partnered with the private sector to find environmental solutions that make economic sense.
  • Clean, Abundant Water for People, Farming and Wildlife
  • Climate Change & Population Growth
    • California Sierra snowpack 30-70% lower by end of century
    • 20% of US ground water pumping occurs in Central Valley
    • Population growth of 22% in Central Valley by 2020
  • BIODIVERSITY | THRIVING WILDLIFE AND HABITAT Significant Reductions in Water for Sacramento Valley Agriculture Estimating the economic impacts of agricultural yield related changes for California Howitt, Medellin-Azuara, MacEwan - CEC-500-2009-042-F Expected percentage reduction in available water Region Agriculture Urban Total Sacramento 24.3 0.1 19.1 San Joaquin 22.5 0.0 17.6 Tulare 15.9 0.0 13.5 Southern California 25.9 1.1 8.9 Total 21.0 0.7 14.0
    • Est. 9% lower yields in orchard crops
    • Fewer acres in farming
    • Need for value-added products
    The Future of Sacramento Valley Farming
  • % of Acreage, Water Use and Production Value by Crop Type * * Source: Pacific Institute
    • Reduces water use
    • Increases yields
    • Improves profitability
    Flood Irrigation Linear Move Irrigation
    • Optimize water use
    • -Moisture sensors
    • -Computer monitoring
    • -Efficient delivery
    • “ Helps us save time, lower operating costs and increase yield. ”
    • – Kevin Cantrelle
    • (Grape Grower)
    Irrigation Scheduling
  • Crop Shifting
    • Sweet sorghum substitutes for corn
    • 30% less water and fertilizer
    • Similar nutrient value
    • Demonstrating in 3 CA bioregions
  • Renewable Energy Technologies  Value-Added Revenue for Farming Operation
    • Anaerobic digestion
    • Gasification
    • Continue evaluating technologies identified
    • Explore geographic regions
    • Build partnerships
    • Implement demonstration projects
    Next Steps
  • QUESTIONS? Ladi Asgill Agricultural Economist, Sustainable Conservation (209) 576-7729 • [email_address] www.suscon.org Environmental solutions that make economic sense.