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Evaluating Rice in the Delta

Rice Eval 1Evaluation of Rice Cultivation in the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta- Rio Vista, CA, 2008 - 2015

Collaborating Organizations:

Bachand & Associates, USGS, UC Cooperative Extension, UC Berkeley, UC Davis and Reclamation District 1601

Funding Organization:

California Department of Water Resources

Project Description:

This project builds upon an earlier rice investigation, Reducing Non-point DOC and Nitrogen Exports from Rice Fields in the Sacramento San Joaquin Delta, 2004 - 2006 (Delta Water Quality Study).  Current agricultural uses in the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta cause subsidence when organic soils are drained and exposed to oxygen. Previous research indicates rice cultivation will stop and may reverse subsidence. This project, which began construction in October 2008, investigated at the field and farm complex scale the effects of rice cultivation in the western Delta on land-surface elevations, water quality, carbon dynamics, agronomy, and economics.


Our team led the design for the rice field systems, providing recommendations for piping, pumps, power, and operation, and served as the lead on surface water quality and hydrology analyses, quantifying seasonal loads of Hg, DOC and other water quality constituents and supporting island hydrologic modeling efforts.

 This project has provided foundational work for further work assessing local, regional and state effects of implementing a critical area of rice in the Delta being conducted under the NRCS NIFA project (USDA AFRI Project)