April News from California Institute for Rural Studies

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 APRIL News 



In this Newsletter

Continuing series on California's water infrastructure 

SHELTER + MOBILITY: Recommendations for California's Specialty Crop Workforce

Our Land: A Symposium on Farmland Access in the 21st Century


  California Institute for Rural Studies (CIRS) is the only California non-profit with a mission to conduct public interest research that strengthens social justice and increases the sustainability of California's rural communities.

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California Institute for Rural Studies  Continues Series of Articles on California's Water Infrastructure

California is experiencing a long term drought. As a result, CIRS is examining various aspects of the California water system. It is clear that the effects are wide ranging, and so complex. In the last month on our blog, we brought you "Understanding and Shaping California's Water Legacy" by Annie Beaman and "No Water No Work" by Gail Wadsworth, as well as "A History of the Drought: Learning from the Past, Looking to the Future" by Adam Kotin and Dru Marion and then "Federal Plans Begin to Address Climate Realities," by Dru Marion.

All articles are featured on our website in the

Rural California Report Blog, and are available there as free downloadable files.



This week, we are looking at a desert region where per capita water use is the highest in the state
 for a non-industrial area at 736 gallons per person per day.

The Coachella Valley is located in eastern Riverside County, California. The entire valley sits in the basin north of the Salton Sea bounded by various strands of the very active San Andreas Fault System. The San Andreas Faulttraverses the Valley's east side. The Santa Rosa Mountains to the West are part of the Elsinore Fault Zone.The Inland Empire-Salton Trough region is geologically and seismologically the most complex part of the San Andreas Fault system in southern California. Over the past 15 million years, several strands of the main San Andreas Fault have moved coastal California northwestward in relation to the desert interior. The trough of the Coachella Valley is surrounded by mountain ranges rising up to 11,000 feet in elevation while the valley floor drops to 250 feet below sea level at its lowest around the town of Mecca. In the summer, daytime temperatures range from 104 ° F to 112 ° F and winter temperatures range from 68 F to 88 F making the Coachella Valley a very popular winter resort. The Valley is the northwestern extension of the Sonoran Desert to the southeast and is extremely arid. The majority of rainfall occurs during the winter months. Rain may sometimes fall during the summer months as a result of the  desert monsoon.Continue reading


Data on golf courses provided by Peter Leiggi, data on trailer parks provided by Ryan Sinclair


SHELTER + MOBILITY: Recommendations for California's Specialty Crop Ag Workforce 

This week, Ag Innovations released a new report that details the findings and concrete recommendations of the California Agricultural Workforce Housing and Transportation Project, a yearlong multi-stakeholder investigation into the community, political, and industry challenges and barriers to the provision of adequate and affordable housing and transportation to the state’s specialty crop workforce and their families. California Institute for Rural Studies was pleased to participate in this diverse taskforce of more than 50 leaders from agriculture, labor, housing, and transportation brought together by Ag Innovations. The project was funded by a USDA Specialty Crop Block Grant from the California Department of Food and Agriculture. Please read the full report here




Our Land: A Symposium on Farmland Access in the 21st Century, April 26 + 27, 2014 in Berkeley

"For food security, we need land security." The Agrarian Trust is a new national organization to secure affordable land access for next generation farmers and is a project of the Schumacher Center for New Economics. Their event will be held at Wheeler Hall, on the UC Berkeley Campus.

In the next two decades 400 million acres of U.S. farmland will change hands. Will that land be consolidated into larger holdings and treated as a commodity or investment asset? Or will it prove the foundation for a new business, a next-generation farmer, a passionate entrepreneur? Join the Agrarian Trust for a weekend program to tackle the historical context, long-range implications and economic impact, and stewardship potential of the transition ahead. Speakers include Raj Patel, Eric Holt-Gimenez, Joel Salatin and Gayle McLaughlin. CIRS will be there with an informational table - please stop by. Tickets and information



Thank you for your continued support! 

Gail Wadsworth 

 Executive Director, California Institute for Rural Studies

 California Institute for Rural Studies
P.O. Box 1047, Davis, CA 95617


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