Congressman Josh Harder Pushes for 21st Century Satellite Technology to Measure Land Subsidence Nationwide – California’s San Joaquin Valley has Sunk 33 Feet in Less than 100 Years


View of West Washington Road at Eastside Bypass in Merced County
Photo by DWR taken on January 25, 2017.

The San Joaquin Valley has sunk 33 feet in less than 100 years, causing serious regional infrastructure problems; the first-of-its-kind card will reduce future hazard costs to $ 30 billion

February 20, 2022 – Washington – Last Friday, MP Josh Harder sent a bipartisan letter to leaders of the House and Senate urging them to invest in 21st century satellite technology to measure land subsidence across the country. Over the past 100 years, the San Joaquin Valley has sunk or sunk by at least 33 feet, causing significant regional infrastructure problems. See below and online for a photo of the hit.

“Our state is sinking, and it is threatening everything from our roads and bridges to our farms and jobs.” said Representative Harder. “So today I insist on bipartisan investment in 21st century satellite technology that will tell us exactly what we need to know about our lands. If we make these investments now, we will save up to $ 30 billion nationwide and at the same time stimulate our local economy. We know what to do, we know how to do it, so let’s get to work. “

In a letter from Harder’s spokesman, also signed by Republican MP Maria Salazar, Congress called on the US Geological Survey (USGS) to program the National Earth Level Change Mapping Program (NLLC), which will use the latest satellite imagery to create the first map of its kind. measures subsidence of land across the United States. Funding for this program will reduce the cost to the United States of up to $ 30 billion from the dangers of land subsidence, and stimulate the economic markets of sustainable coastline, transportation, and power generation.

Read the letter below and online here.

Distinguished Speaker Pelosi, McCarthy Minority Leader, Sumer Majority Leader and McConnell Minority Leader:

The House of Representatives and the Senate continue to debate the final 2022 fiscal year

of the appropriations bill, we are writing to you in support of the Language Reports and Funding Program of the National Geological Survey Program (NLLC) of the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS). This mapping program will use the latest satellite imagery to create the first-of-its-kind map to measure land subsidence in the United States. For many of our country’s inland and coastal communities, including our own constituencies, this will provide the information needed to build sustainable infrastructure and save money in the long run.

Several regions that have been measured for land subsidence demonstrate an urgent need for this mapping program. In less than 100 years, California’s San Joaquin Valley has sunk 33 feet, and the Louisiana coastline continues to sink at a rate of one-third of an inch a year. As long as we do not have a comprehensive subsidence map, inland and coastal communities that are at risk from subsidence will not have the tools to combat them.

In 2021, the adoption of the National Landslide Readiness Act allowed Home Secretary to subordinate USGS programs to research and map land subsidence. The land subsidence provision in this law should be combined with appropriations in fiscal year 2022 to ensure that modern satellites are used to develop a comprehensive map of changes at ground level. Funding for this program will now reduce the $ 20-30 billion that costs the United States from the dangers of land subsidence, and stimulate the economic markets of sustainability of the coast, transportation, and electricity generation.

Throughout the appropriation process in the Chamber, there was strong support for funding the NLLC Mapping program. Since the House of Representatives passed a bipartisan amendment № 176 to the bill for fiscal year 2022, which is an amendment to reduce the increase for the USGS NLLC mapping program. In addition to the bipartisan amendment, the House of Representatives report for the 2022 fiscal year included languages ​​that support USGS academic partnerships that reflect altitude changes in coastal regions.. We strongly support and encourage these efforts.

We also request that the final bill on the 2022 fiscal year include the following language of the Senate report on the Home Affairs and Environment for the 2022 fiscal year: “The Committee recognizes efforts to use technology and models to assess and publish information on land level change , especially in areas facing serious coastal land loss problems such as the North Central Gulf of Mexico and the coastal plain of the Central Atlantic. The Committee encourages the Review to evaluate and estimate the funding for such a program and instructs the Review to inform the Committee of its findings within 180 days of the adoption of this act. ”

However, we specifically ask the Senate to add the following language “and any other areas in the United States facing changes in land loss” after “The Central Atlantic Coastal Plain”.

This change ensures that the NLLC mapping program is a nationwide drawdown mapping program and is not limited to specific U.S. regions. With this revised language and NLLC mapping program funding in the final bill and appropriation report for the 2022 fiscal year, we believe that inland and coastal communities will be able to effectively mitigate the risk of subsidence.

Thank you for considering our request, and we look forward to working with you to develop a stronger and more sustainable nationwide landfall map.
Source: Congressman Josh Harder

On the topic: DWR reports new data showing that precipitation continues in 2021 water, but the rate is slower than in previous droughts – includes estimates of many groundwater basins in the counties of Merced, Madeira, Fresno, Kings, Tulare and Kern

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