CaliAgWater – Vicky Ezpinoza

Vicky Espinoza is a PhD Candidate in the VICE Lab group led by Dr. Joshua Viers at UC Merced. She is analyzing how California’s Sustainable Groundwater Management Act (SMGA) will impact the retirement of more than 10% of the San Joaquin Valley’s irrigated lands, and how those land use changes will affect already socioeconomically vulnerable communities and small-scale farmers within the region. She is developing a community-informed strategic alternative land-use transition optimization (SALUTO) model that will offer a vision for how and where to retire large blocks of land and suggest alternative land uses that will maximize the benefit to the economy, environment, farmers, and underrepresented communities. Through her work and community and farmer engagement, she is simultaneously addressing a knowledge and decision-making equity gap in the San Joaquin Valley through her bilingual workshops and CaliWaterAg YouTube Channel.

CaliWaterAg is a bilingual (English and Spanish), soon-to-be trilingual (Hmong) YouTube channel. The channel makes California water and land-use management and related science accessible to audiences of different backgrounds and education levels. The channel was created to provide community members and farmers in California with accessible information in their native language to empower them through knowledge so that they too can have a say in water and land-use decisions that impact their livelihood. CaliWaterAg’s San Joaquin Valley Water and Land Use Series consists of four short videos that explain the new groundwater law, SGMA, and potential land use repurposing options that have been considered for addressing groundwater overdraft.

English Series: San Joaquin Valley Water and Land Use Series, CaliWaterAg YouTube Channel (By Vicky Espinoza),

– Part 1.1. Introduction to the New Groundwater Law

– Part 1.2. Local Management Under SGMA

– Part 1.3. SGMA’s Challenges and Opportunities

– Part 1.4. Strategic Agricultural Land Repurposing

Spanish Series: Serie de uso del agua y la tierra del Valle de San Joaquín, CaliWaterAg YouTube

Channel (By Vicky Espinoza),


CaliWaterAg channel: