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San Joaquin Valley Agricultural Drainage

Information About

  • Drainage

      Monitoring & History

      The San Joaquin Valley has some of the most productive agricultural lands in the world. However, much of the west side of the Valley is plagued by poor subsurface drainage conditions that impact crop productivity. Effective subsurface drainage management is essential to prevent excessive shallow groundwater conditions and the accumulation of salts in the root zones. Monitoring of shallow groundwater and agricultural drainage water is an integral activity to determining the effectiveness of management practices.

      The Region Report brings together shallow groundwater and electrical conductivity data for the years 2011 thru 2012. Sump drainage data with respect to flows and mineral analyses are presented. In addition, further study on nitrates within the study area are included. The report is available at 2011-2012 Drainage Monitoring Report

  • Data & Maps
  • IFDM
    • A Landowner's Manual, 2004 (5.3 MB)

    • This manual serves as a guide for developing Integrated On-Farm Drainage Management systems and is the first part of an educational and outreach program to educate landowners on the advantages, disadvantages, costs, and environmental regulations involved within an IFDM.

    • A Technical Advisor's Manual, 2005 (8.62 MB)

    • This manual is the second component of the program, and is designed to provide technical consultants and support personnel with the tools they need to assist farmers with developing and implementing an effective IFDM program.

    • Downloads & Exhibits
  • Grants

      Drainage Reuse Grant Program (Prop 204)
      The Drainage Reuse Grant Program provides funds to local public agencies, including public universities, in the State of California for research and/or programs that resolve agricultural subsurface drainage water issues by developing methods of using it, reducing its toxic elements, and concentrating, separating and utilizing its salts. There have been several rounds of funding for the program, which supported completion of many research and technical study projects. For a list of completed projects, please click here.

      San Joaquin River Water Quality Grant Program (Prop 84)
      The San Joaquin River Water Quality Grant Program will support projects that reduce or eliminate the discharge of subsurface agricultural drainage water to the San Joaquin River, thereby improving water quality in the river and the Delta. This program is under development and information will be available on the program in winter/spring 2015.

  • Treatment Projects

      DWR's South Central Region Office has participated in various selenium removal and desalting projects throughout the Drainage Study Area. In addition to Proposition 204-funded projects, listed here, view other related drainage treatment projects at this link.

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The Agricultural Drainage Program collects, evaluates, reports information and conducts studies and demonstration projects focusing on drainage problems in the San Joaquin Valley. The resulting data and information on agricultural drainage issues enable better definition of drainage problems and lead to implementation of management plans.

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Integrated Drainage Management
Integrated On-Farm Drainage Management (IFDM) is a state-of-the-art management system that provides for drainage water reuse to improve water availability for crop production and to minimize salt and selenium risks to water quality and the environment.

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Provide technical assistance concerning desalination and advanced treatment of brackish agricultural wastewaters - including process selection, economic factors, operations and maintenance, environmental requirements, and pilot treatment studies.

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Proposition 204
Under The Safe, Clean, Reliable Water Supply Act, the Department seeks to develop methods of using and concentrating salts, and reducing contaminants in the State's subsurface agricultural drainage water by soliciting proposals from public entities seeking funding for research activities consistent with the goals of the program.

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Drainage Monitoring
Determine the aerial extent of drainage problem areas (groundwater level within 20 feet of ground surface) and the quality and quantity of subsurface drainage for the San Joaquin Valley. Collect, maintain, and evaluate water quality data and produce the annual San Joaquin Valley Drainage Monitoring Report.

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Drainage Treatment
Investigate technologies for treating agricultural subsurface drainage water. Technologies involve removing salt by reverse osmosis, reducing and removing selenium through biological processes, and managing salt by using solar salt-gradient ponds and agro forestry.