Groundwater Recharge- from Drought to Deluge and Back AgainLeave a Comment
- Working landscapes address the drought to deluge challenges
- California has enough unused groundwater storage capacity to hold 850 to 1,300 million-acre feet of water dwarding state’s current surface water storage capacity of 42 million-acre feet
June 22, 2017 by Judy Corbett Calfornia Economic Summit
….Common sense dictates that we build water reserves during rainy years that will carry us through the lean years. While dams have been the reserve strategy in the past, recent experience has shown they have limitations…..UC Merced scientist Mohammad Safeeq has pointed to groundwater storage as a viable option, noting that California has enough unused groundwater storage capacity to hold 850 to 1,300 million-acre feet of water. This dwarfs the state’s current surface water storage capacity of 42 million-acre feet….
… NRDC and partners studied the effects of 15 years of development in 20 sprawling cities and found that by covering over aquifer recharge areas, each had lost enough groundwater to meet the average daily needs of 1.5 to 3.6 million of their residents….
…Fortunately, …are currently researching and mapping areas with good recharge potential – areas with soil types that allow water to penetrate accompanied by a geologic makeup under the soil that filters and sends water to the aquifer.
Once special recharge sites are identified, we need to preserve or restore them. Here, progress is being made in both urban and in rural areas. For example, Santa Cruz and Butte Counties both have general plan language protecting important recharge sites from development.
The City of Los Angeles Department of Water and Power is now providing incentive programs to schools, homeowners, and businesses to capture stormwater and direct it to areas where it can be absorbed. While naturally recharged groundwater is a very inexpensive, it still requires funding for infrastructure changes, land purchases, and the like. Funding could come from federal, state and/or local entities, including those responsible for flood management…
…To get where we need to go, multi-benefit groundwater recharge projects must expand in number and scale. …working together, they can assure the ultimate success of California’s new Sustainable Groundwater Management Act….