PubTalk 11/2014 — Water, Nuts, and the Nation's Fruit Bowl
California's Central Valley Hydrologic Science
by Claudia Faunt, USGS Hydrologist
- Using about 1% of U.S. farmland, California's Central Valley supplies 7% of the U.S. agricultural output (by value) -- 1/4 of the Nation's food, including about half of the Nation's fruits, nuts, and vegetables.
- Approximately 20% of the Nation's groundwater is pumped from the Central Valley aquifer system.
- The recent drought, land-use changes, and restrictions on surface-water flows have resulted in extensive pumping, large groundwater-level declines, and widespread land subsidence.