Mapping San Joaquin Valley

UC Davis study maps valley by socioeconomic factors

A UC Davis report on the San Joaquin Valley concluded the higher an area’s social vulnerability, the more susceptible it is to environmental hazards.

Land of Risk, Land of Opportunity” mapped the valley according to environmental, social and health indicators like presence of toxins, refineries, waste-treatment facilities, poverty and education levels and life expectancy. The study found that these indicators typically go hand-in-hand, and that a third of the valley’s population faces high levels of both environmental and social risk.

Communities that face limited access to resources like health care and nutritious food usually also experience heavy exposure to polluted air and drinking water and many economic, language and racial barriers.

“These hazards are not spread out; they are concentrated in particular places, and those places need to be the focus of extra attention, care, protection and investment. So the message to policy makers is: focus,” said Dr. Jonathan London, the study’s lead author.