Climate Change Impacts on Water Supply and Agricultural Water Management in California's Western San Joaquin Valley, and Potential Adaptation Strategies - Final Report

Based on an application of the Water Evaluation and Planning (WEAP) system developed for the Sacramento River basin and Delta export region of the San Joaquin Valley, this report by the California Climate Change Center provides an assessment of climate change impacts and potential adaptation strategies for the region.

Modeling was conducted to evaluate the hydrologic implications of 12 climate change scenarios as well as the water management ramifications of the implied hydrologic changes. In addition to evaluating the impacts of climate change with current operations, the model also assessed the impacts of applying different agricultural management strategies in response to a changing climate.

The adaptation strategies included address improving irrigation efficiency and shifting cropping patterns.  With regard to improvements in irrigation efficiency, the research team suggests that existing and anticipated future regulatory pressures for improved agricultural water use efficiency are likely to lead to increased efficiency such that most crops other than rice will employ drip irrigation by the middle of the century.  Cropping patterns change from year to year as farmers react to water supply conditions and economic and social factors - and modeling was conducted to provided a suite of synthetic estimates of crop shares across a range of different regional water supply and groundwater depth assumptions.

Publication Date: August 2009

Authors or Affiliated Users:

  • Brian Joyce
  • Vishal Mehta
  • David Purkey
  • Larry Dale
  • Michael Hanemann

Related Organizations:


Resource Category:

Resource Types:

  • Assessment
  • Policy analysis/recommendations

States Affected:


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