Solar PV panels used to power agricultural equipment in the Central Valley. (Photo: Shippee, via Shutterstock)
OPINION: When we combined the separate maps, the result was pretty remarkable: Out of the 9.5 million acres in the stakeholder study area, the groups identified 470,000 acres of ideal, non-controversial land for solar PV development, or roughly 5 percent of the Valley study area. At a generic calculation of 1 megawatt of solar PV production from 5 acres of panels, that means the lands identified could provide 94,000 megawatts of renewable power.
A California Department of Water Resources geologist measures and records a pumping water level in a production well. (Photo: John Chacon,/DWR, 2013, via California Water Blog)
Analysis: California’s single most urgent water policy priority is preserving our groundwater supply. In normal years, groundwater provides one-third of our state’s urban and agricultural water. In dry years, it provides up to nearly two-thirds.