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News Release


November 18, 2013
Leslie  Gordon 650-329-4006 lgordon@usgs.gov

Media Advisory: Land Subsidence Poses Risk to Water Infrastructure in California’s San Joaquin Valley

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SACRAMENTO, Calif. — Extensive groundwater pumping from San Joaquin Valley aquifers is increasing the rate of land subsidence, or sinking, that could result in serious operational and structural challenges and repairs to water infrastructure, according to a new report by the U.S. Geological Survey.

This subsidence is reducing the capacity of the Delta-Mendota Canal, the California Aqueduct, and other canals that transport floodwater and deliver water to agriculture, cities, industry and wildlife refuges, potentially causing damage and requiring expensive repairs. To help public agencies and resource managers minimize risk and damage to California’s infrastructure, the USGS is studying and providing information on groundwater conditions and land subsidence in the San Joaquin Valley.

What: Press conference to announce release of scientific report and discuss results of study on subsidence in California’s San Joaquin Valley.

Who: Michelle Sneed, USGS Hydrologist and lead report author
Eric Reichard, USGS California Water Science Center Director
Richard Woodley, U.S. Bureau of Reclamation Assistant Regional Director

When: Thursday, November 21, 2013
10:00 a.m., Press conference in Sacramento
2:00 p.m., Site visit and photo opportunity at Delta-Mendota Canal, south of Los Banos

Where:  Press Conference: U.S. Geological Survey, Modoc Hall, Willow Conference Room 1

3020 State University Drive East, Sacramento, California

  • Paid parking permits available from machine in lot adjacent to Modoc Hall.
  • For reporters unable to attend in person, an audio bridge will be available:

(703) 648-4848 or toll-free (855) 547-8255, code 77680#

Photo Op / Field Site: Delta-Mendota Canal where it crosses Russell Avenue, south of Los Banos, and west of Firebaugh. This location is 145 miles south of Sacramento, a 2.25 – 2.5 hour drive.


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