Solving Dual Problems in California’s Central Valley
Protecting the Environment
The Central Valley is home to particularly fertile soil that is rich with naturally occurring
salts and minerals. When the land is irrigated, crops soak up freshwater and leave behind the
salts and minerals creating a briny discharge known as irrigation drainage, which can become
harmful to the surrounding environment.
Without a disposal method for irrigation drainage, farmers are forced to fallow land to use as
irrigation drainage fields, or discharge the brine into local water systems. The Panoche Water
District is part of the San Joaquin River Improvement Project to remove selenium from the
San Joaquin River in order to protect the river’s ecosystem. The HydroRevolution plant will
help them achieve this goal.
Providing Reliable Freshwater
2015 marked the second year of 0% water allocation for agriculture in the Central Valley.
Because of the current drought in California, many farmers have turned to drilling wells for
freshwater to irrigate their crops, further decreasing California’s natural water reserves and
contributing to land subsidence. Other farmers have had to fallow land when a sufficient
supply of water could not be found for an economical price.
HydroRevolution will provide a consistent, sustainable supply of water to farmers in Panoche
by treating an existing and replenishable source of impaired water. There is an estimated 1
million acre-feet of irrigation drainage water available in the Central Valley that could
potentially be treated through solar desalination.