As Groundwater Sustainability Agencies implement various projects to work towards compliance with the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act, it is expected that at least 500,000 acres of irrigated agriculture will come out of production. Land repurposing has been introduced as a solution for sustaining the agriculture economy, improving groundwater supplies, creating wildlife habitat, outdoor recreation and jobs, as well as improving air and soil quality.
From the Sonoran Desert to the Sacramento Valley, Land IQ is using its knowledge and skills to help numerous entities to develop and implement State initiatives, incentives, regional groundwater management plans, and other programs related to land repurposing.
Land Repurposing Steering Committee
Land IQ staff is involved in developing land repurposing guidelines by sitting on the California Department of Water Resources Steering Committee for the Land Transitioning Guidance Document. This document will provide GSAs, counties, and other entities with practical guidelines and practices, informed by relevant science, for transitioning agricultural land to other land uses such as habitat, recreational areas, and low water-use agriculture. Land IQ staff provides expertise on prioritizing information for the document.
Soil & Land Suitability
The Consumnes Groundwater Authority is prioritizing land for repurposing as part of their Groundwater Sustainability Plan. Land IQ provides services to help identify potential land uses, and conservation and water use efficiency strategies to achieve groundwater pumping reduction goals and develop outreach materials.
The Borrego Valley Groundwater Basin has an approved groundwater adjudication to implement their groundwater management plan. Experts from Land IQ’s restoration ecology, geospatial and land science teams provide technical assistance to help the Watermaster prioritize agricultural land for retirement and rehabilitation to native habitat. This multi-disciplinary group gathers and evaluates research findings and conducts field studies that will help predict how landscapes will respond to changes in land use when agricultural fields are permanently fallowed.
Agricultural Water Use Estimation
Mohave Valley Irrigation & Drainage District asked Land IQ to perform a temporal and average consumptive use analysis for a proposed fallowing program in Mohave County, Arizona. The fields of interest comprise of approximately 3,000 acres of irrigable ground. The water savings for fallowing the fields of interest is based on the previous five-year crop history and the calculated consumptive use. Since 2015, Land IQ has performed annual crop identification and corresponding crop consumptive use analysis to determine water savings.
Land IQ has supported the Owens Lake Dust Mitigation Program since the first controls were installed in 2000. Our staff have served as primary agronomic and science resources advising the Los Angeles Department of
Water and Power (LADWP) on project technology and regulatory compliance. Land IQ has supported nearly all phases of dust control design and has served as an expert resource for LADWP's stakeholder coordination, long term planning processes, regulatory
negotiation and legal processes.