“Corresponding shifts in the landscape” takes a look at the Antelope Valley water basin and recognizes the benefits withdrawn as a result of water policy and management. The Antelope Valley was once heavily populated with agricultural lands. Irrigation and crop production was heavily dependent on Antelope Valley’s ground water supply as the main source of water before the 1970’s. By 1990, agricultural production began to decrease and increasing development began to change Antelope Valley’s water use patterns.
The map takes a look at the changes in Antelope Valley’s land use in relation to water use. In 1970, 90 percent of the ground water supply was used to maintain agricultural and municipal lands. With population increase and expanding development, there was a decrease in agricultural land use, water use, and dependency on ground water supply. A decrease in crop irrigation played an important role in the dependency of the ground water supply, which lessened the amount of water needed for irrigation per acre-feet of land. Additionally, adopting new water sources from imported water and reclaimed water reduced the reliance on ground water supplies.
In addition to patterns of supply and demand, the map includes a layer of the effects of excess ground water pumping in the Antelope Valley. As a result of ground water pumping, aquifer systems experience declines in ground water levels, which increase the amount of compressible sediments within the aquifer leading to land subsidence. Subsidence occurs when sediments of the earth’s surface are compressed and results in lowered land surfaces, which lessen the amount of water storage available in the aquifer.
Future projections of increased urban development summarize that the dependency on ground water will continue to increase. These maps can help relay messages to the community regarding water use policies and what we may expect for the future.
Here is the dropbox link to svg file: DMUNOZ_LA302L_LEHRMAN_AV MAP