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Sinking Aqueduct Getting Help

June 21,2017-

Screen Shot 2017-06-21 at 5.49.12 PMThe California Department of Water Resources is busy this month starting emergency repairs on the all important California Aqueduct. The repairs are happening in Fresno and Kings counties where land subsidence, suspected to be caused by farm’s groundwater over pumping, has reduced the capacity of big 444-mile canal.

Department spokesperson Sheree Edwards says the agency is adding liners in low spots so the water does not overtop the rim and is looking to make the repairs “before the busy summer season” when irrigation demand is the highest. New concrete panels will be poured by contractors focusing on two “subsidence bowls” seen in studies done earlier this year

A February 8 JPL report includes sinking sections in Fresno and Kings County along the canal – a seven-mile area in Fresno County that has settled up to 20 inches. The JPL report shows that localized subsidence directly impacting the aqueduct is ongoing, with maximum subsidence of the structure reaching 25 inches near Avenal in Kings County where the aqueduct can carry only a reduced flow of 6,650 cubic feet per second — 20 percent less than its design capacity of 8,350 cubic feet per second.

The Aqueduct supplies almost 25 million Californians and waters nearly 1 million acres of farmland. Thousands of  private wells near state facilities could be contributing to subsidence, state officials suggest. Now it’s costing millions to fix it – at least repair it, temporarily.

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