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  1. 1. Pumping, Policy and Power in the Pajaro Valley Solutions to Groundwater Overdraft and It’s Fatal Consequences Joanna Hoffman ENVS 148, May 27 2008
  2. 2. Pajaro Valley Overview <ul><li>79,000 acres spanning Monterey, San Benito, Santa Cruz County, the City of Watsonville, and the communities of Pajaro, Freedom, Corralitos, and Aromas </li></ul><ul><li>In 1980 the state recognized Pajaro Valley as facing a critical overdraft situation, one of 11 (447 total) of such basins in California </li></ul><ul><li>90% of water used in the basin is groundwater. This supplies agriculture (80%), municipal (15%) and industrial (5%) water needs </li></ul>
  3. 3. Groundwater overdraft <ul><li>In the Pajaro Valley Basin, 80,700 a.f. of groundwater is pumped per year. The sustainable yield for the basin 31,000 a.f. Water is overdraft by 49,700 a.f. </li></ul><ul><li>Sea Water Intrusion </li></ul><ul><ul><li>When freshwater aquifers are depleted, seawater infiltrates to areas of lower concentration </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Consequences of intrusion, how crops react </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><li>Land Subsidence </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Hydraulic head and land formation </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Elastic and inelastic tipping points </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Consequences - geology, safety, rise in sea level </li></ul></ul></ul>
  4. 4. Economic and Social Impacts <ul><ul><li>Over 6,000 current jobs compromised in agriculture alone if saltwater intrusion impedes farming abilities </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Users are sensitive to changes in water regulation and policies because there are no groundwater regulation laws in California, so historically people could pump as they wished </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Zone-equity challenge, denial </li></ul></ul>
  5. 5. Current action/inaction <ul><li>This issue has been given substantial attention for the past two decades. Why then have pumping rates only increased? </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Population growth </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Increased high-valued water intensive crops </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Political weight of large farmers </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Intentions of water management agency - solve issues, but also supply water to farmers </li></ul></ul></ul>
  6. 6. PVWMA <ul><li>Pajaro Valley Water Management Agency, started in 1984 to fix groundwater overdraft, and supply water to farmers </li></ul><ul><li>Imposed augmentation fees and metered water use - angered people, and since then the agency has had little support or political clout </li></ul><ul><li>Lots of law suits around taxes and fees </li></ul><ul><li>Does not have the authority it needs to make change </li></ul><ul><li>Has not imposed any limits to water use </li></ul><ul><li>Has implemented some aspects of a Basin Management Plan (BMP) </li></ul>
  7. 7. What does worked under PVWMA’s current campaign? What does not? <ul><li>What works: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Aquifer storage recovery (ASR), increase supply by around 1,100 a.f. a year </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Recycling plant - 4,000 a.f. water from municipal use gets tertiary treatment, distributed to farms to reduce pumping needs </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Conservation - reduced demand by 5,000 a.f. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>What does not work: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>CVP - supposed 11,900 a.f. per year, not in effect </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Discussed alternative: state adjudication </li></ul></ul>
  8. 8. Policy options <ul><li>Enforcement of increased conservation </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Drip irrigation </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Timed watering </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Crop switching </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>From berries to less water intense crops (like orchards) </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Fallow fields </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Wild mustard seed - biofuel </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Solar or wind farm potential on fallow fields </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Issues up against crop switching </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>1/3 of the nation’s strawberries grown in the Pajaro Valley by 103 farms </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Top ten most profitable (making the same as the other 93 combined) use 1,000 a.f. each per year </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Option: approach the use practices of these farms! </li></ul></ul></ul></ul>
  9. 9. Policy Options cont. <ul><li>Municipal reduction </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Low flow plumbing </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Recycled water for non-potable use </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>There is 8,000 a.f. of recycled water coming out of waste facilities. 4,000 a.f. go to farm, rest into ocean </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><li>Industry reduction </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Main industry aside from agriculture is the food processing industry </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Cleaning </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Packaging </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><li>INVEST IN BEST TECHNOLOGIES AVAILABLE! </li></ul>
  10. 10. Water subsidies <ul><li>Change water subsidies </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Big Californian farmers paid to waste water </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Unknown if there are direct water subsidies in the valley </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Many water users of the CVP do get subsidies, wasting potential Pajaro Valley water </li></ul></ul>
  11. 11. Cap and Trade integration: choice policy <ul><li>Capping water use to eventually pump at the sustainable 31,000 a.f. per year rate </li></ul><ul><li>Put caps on different sectors based on 2008 use standards </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Agriculture 80% </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Municipal 15% </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Industry 5% </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Lower caps over a three phase agenda, reducing to 31,000 a.f. by 2026 </li></ul><ul><li>Trading of water within and between sectors, using coastal distribution system </li></ul>
  12. 12. Phases of caps <ul><li>Current pumping rates (2008) </li></ul><ul><li>Industry: 4,100 a.f. or 5% </li></ul><ul><li>Municipal: 12,200 a.f. or 15% </li></ul><ul><li>Agriculture: 64,400 a.f. or 80% </li></ul><ul><li>Total/cap allowance = 80,700 a.f. </li></ul><ul><li>80,700-31,000 = 49,700 reduction pumping necessary </li></ul>Phase I: 2009-2013 Industry: 3,000 a.f. (5% of total) Municipal: 9,000 a.f. (15%) Agriculture: 48,000 a.f. (80% ) Total/cap allowance= 60,000 a.f. 80,700-60,000 = 20,700 reduction in water use during PHASE I Phase II: 2013-2020 Industry: 2,250 a.f. (5%) Municipal: 6,7500 a.f. (15%) Agriculture 36,000 a.f. (80% ) Total/cap allowance = 45,000 a.f. 60,000-45,000 = 15,000 reduction in water use from 2012 Phase III: 2020-2026 Industry: 1,150 a.f. (5%) Municipal: 4,650 a.f. (15%) Agriculture: 36,000 a.f. (80%) Total/cap allowance = 31,000 a.f. 45,000-31,000 = 14,000 reduction in water use from 2020     GROUNDWATER PROBLEM SOLVED!
  13. 13. How will sectors reach caps? <ul><li>These caps will be reached using policy options previously discussed </li></ul><ul><ul><li>ASR, conservation, crop switching, timed watering, low flow plumbing appliances, fallow fields </li></ul></ul>
  14. 14. Committee/community coordination <ul><li>Three committees responsible for deciding how each sector will reach caps. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>7 members who know the business they are representing, with varied representation in terms of job, crop, location in basin </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Consultants providing information on BTA, discussing innovation with committees </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Each will hold public meetings twice a year, informing an receiving comments on progress </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>The PVWMA will continue to play a regulatory role, overseeing these processes and generally managing the implementation. PVWMA members will be present at each committee and public meeting </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Scientific monitoring very important </li></ul></ul>
  15. 15. Funding needs <ul><li>PVWMA management continuation </li></ul><ul><li>Projects to reduce pumping </li></ul><ul><li>Technology investment </li></ul><ul><li>Scientific monitoring </li></ul><ul><li>Committee meetings/potential stipend </li></ul><ul><li>Credit fund for banks/energy companies/users who reduce pumping </li></ul>
  16. 16. Funding <ul><li>Grants from state government </li></ul><ul><li>Grants from Federal Bureau of Reclamation </li></ul><ul><li>Augmentation fees from users(as they currently do) </li></ul><ul><li>Public bonds </li></ul><ul><li>Penalty costs for sectors not meeting caps </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Every 10% over cap limit at the end of each phase, all users in sector will be charged 30% extra on the water that was used over the limit (this gives incentive for groups to work together) </li></ul></ul>
  17. 17. Positive reinforcement <ul><li>To fund projects to reduce pumping, low interest loans will be available to farmers, municipalities and industry </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Banks participating in this program will be given credit on their water bills </li></ul></ul><ul><li>In first two phases of implementation, sectors will receive credits on their water bills for reduction in pumping. In the first phase, a 15% water credit during the second phase will be given for every 10% reduction over the first phase </li></ul>
  18. 18. Adaptive Management <ul><li>This is a very important part of this policy </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Flexibility is enjoyed </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Allows new information to be incorporated </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Non-linear thinking </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Relies on science throughout the process to determine progress and change in numbers and realities </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>acknowledges that change happens and new information will come to light that should not be ignored (as opposed to state regulation on a bureaucratic process) </li></ul></ul>
  19. 19. Conclusions and realities <ul><li>Community involvement/committee coordination </li></ul><ul><li>Cap means that parties do not have an option but to act </li></ul><ul><li>Educating about realities, progress, technologies, information sharing among sectors </li></ul><ul><ul><li>This is challenging, not everyone will win, but it is time that these problems be weighed honestly against the bottom line, or else everyone will loose as the valley turns into an salt-saturated, unproductive landscape </li></ul></ul>