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Section C: Region Description

Section C

Region Description

The Tule Sub-basin is located in the southern portion of the San Joaquin Valley Groundwater Basin. The boundaries of this IRWM planning area were determined based on existing governance and the boundaries of adjacent IRWM planning areas. Section C discusses the Tule River Basin’s relevance as an IRWM Planning area and provides background on the physical, cultural, social, and economic characteristics of the region.

Insert Map 1 – IRWMP Boundaries

This section provides a discussion of the region’s environmental resources, water management systems, water quality conditions, as well as an overview of the region’s cultural, social, and economic profile.

This section provides a discussion of the region’s environmental resources, which were divided into three sections: Water Resources, Biological Resources, and Geologic Conditions. These region-specific characteristics serve as the foundation for regional water planning. Water resources include primary sources of groundwater and existing watersheds. Biological resources include aquatic sensitive species, freshwater habitats, and areas of special biological significance within the DCTRA IRWM planning area. The geological resources describe deposit and rock types in the IRWM planning area.

This section examines existing water management systems, including major infrastructure, wastewater service providers, flood control districts, and land use agencies. This existing network of entities responsible for water management within the IRWMP region provides the framework on which IRWMP objectives and projects are formed.

This section also covers the existing water quality conditions within the region, and discusses potential sources of contamination as well as specific contaminants, including nitrate, arsenic, perchlorate, and hexavalent chromium. As shown in the figures below, these contaminants are generally within an acceptable range within the region, however Arsenic is found in higher concentrations within the Pixley Public Utility District.

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Figure C-6. Arsenic levels detected in IRWMP region (Data source: DCTRA water quality monitoring program)

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Figure C-7. Nitrate levels detected in IRWMP region (Data source: DCTRA water quality monitoring program)

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The section provides an overview of the cultural, social, and economic profile of the region. This was determined by the assessment of local organizations and associations, local traditions and community events, demographic information, and economic conditions. This information is used to develop and prioritize goals, objectives, and IRWMP projects as well as determining the feasibility of IRWMP implementation.

The average median age within the region is 24.81 years. Educational Attainment is relatively low within the region, with approximately 43% of the population who’s educational attainment is less than a high school diploma. The average median income is $29,208.20, approximately half of median income in the State. A majority of the population is Hispanic and Spanish is the primary language spoken at home in most households.

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Figure C-11. Highest level of educational attainment of residents within the IRWMP region. (Data source: Census Bureau ACS 5-year estimate)

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Figure C-16. Median household income within the IRWM planning area. (Data source: Census Bureau ACS 5-year estimate)

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Figure C-12. Ethnic Diversity within the IRWMP region. (Data source: Census Bureau ACS 5-year estimate)

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Figure C-13. Language spoken at home of population 5-years and over within the IRWMP region. (Data source: Census Bureau ACS 5-year estimate)

The section concludes with the discussion of key region wide and watershed specific issues. These include challenges related to declining groundwater conditions, water quality, and disadvantaged communities.

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