Column: Want to conserve water and make clean energy? Build more solar farms in San Joaquin Valley

George Skelton | LA Times Link to article

“The San Joaquin Valley is facing a monumental shift in land use over the next two decades,” wrote PPIC water experts Andrew Ayres and Curtis Seymour.

“Promoting solar expansion on fallowed farmland … could support two major objectives at once: the state’s clean energy goals while easing the economic pain of transitioning some land away from agriculture.”

“Two important but seemingly unrelated [state] laws are driving the change,” they noted.

One is the 2014 Sustainable Groundwater Management Act aimed at bringing groundwater basins into balance by the early 2040s. For decades, farmers have been pumping out a lot more water than could be naturally replenished.

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