Is Groundwater Recharge a ‘Beneficial Use’? California Law Says No.

From Water Deeply:

Groundwater depletion is a big problem in parts of California. But it is not the only groundwater problem. The state also has many areas of polluted groundwater, and some places where groundwater overdraft has caused the land to subside, damaging roads, canals and other infrastructure. Near the coast, heavy groundwater pumping has caused contamination by pulling seawater underground from the ocean.

But if you wanted to obtain a permit from the state to manage these problems by recharging groundwater, you could be out of luck. … “

Read more from Water Deeply here:  Is Groundwater Recharge a ‘Beneficial Use’? California Law Says No.

Grower sees potential for groundwater recharge

From the Western Farm Press:

“Jim Morris had lots of reasons for embracing a University of California research project to use his alfalfa field for groundwater recharge.

His operation, the Bryan-Morris Ranch in Etna, Calif., has emphasized environmental stewardship since his wife’s family started it in the 1850s. The ranch was the site of soil conservation and other studies as long ago as the 1940s. … “

Read more from the Western Farm Press here:  Grower sees potential for groundwater recharge

Managed Aquifer Recharge in California

Timothy Parker and Graham Fogg discuss the benefits and the challenges of Managed Aquifer Recharge, and how MAR can be key to water security in a changing climate

From Maven’s Notebook:

Groundwater is an essential water source, providing 35% of the fresh water used in California, and significantly more in drought years.  However, when groundwater is used more rapidly than it is naturally replenished, actions must be taken to correct the imbalance, and one of the tools used by groundwater managers is managed aquifer recharge (or MAR).

Managed Aquifer Recharge (MAR) enhances the recharge rate by creating artificial streams and ponds where water trickles into the ground, or by using wells to directly inject water underground. MAR can also be used to improve groundwater quality and prevent some of the negative consequences of groundwater depletion, like ground sinking (subsidence) or the intrusion of salty groundwater from the oceans into coastal freshwater aquifers.

In an American Geosciences Institute webinar, Timothy Parker, principal hydrogeologist at Parker Groundwater, discusses managing groundwater storage and managed aquifer recharge in California.  Next, Graham Fogg, from UC Davis discusses recharge and reservoir management and keys to water security.

Read more at Maven’s Notebook here:  Managed Aquifer Recharge in California

Why we can’t just suck it up: The challenges of groundwater recharge in California

From Stanford’s Water in the West:

“California is on track to have the wettest water year in the 122-year period of record and replenishing our drought-stricken groundwater basins is a critical part of California’s vision for a sustainable water future. However, the state’s ability to take full advantage of this precipitation to recharge our depleted aquifers remains limited.

One of the many tools designed to help agencies and water managers comply with the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act (SGMA) is groundwater banking or any effort to retain or place water in an aquifer that would not otherwise occur. This effort can take various forms including: conjunctive use—the substitution of surface water for groundwater to reduce pumping); in-lieu recharge—the supply of surface water to users who otherwise rely on groundwater; and managed aquifer recharge (MAR)—the active recharge of groundwater with surface water through dedicated infiltration basins or injection wells. Maximizing these tools, however, will require rethinking both water management and infrastructure. … “

Continue reading at Stanford’s Water in the West here:  Why we can’t just suck it up: The challenges of groundwater recharge in California

DR. ANDY FISHER: Enhancing groundwater recharge with stormwater

From Maven’s Notebook:

“Dr. Andy Fisher is a professor at UC Santa Cruz and Director of UC Water, as well as the founder of the Recharge Initiative, a focused effort to protect, enhance, and improve the availability and reliability of groundwater resources. Dr. Fisher focuses on stormwater capture and recharge, including development of a metered recharge pilot project in the Pajaro Valley Water Management Agency where he looks at stormwater quality and at using GIS to map ideal locations for groundwater infiltration.

In this seminar presented by the State Water Board’s STORMS program, Dr. Fisher discussed the stormwater projects he’s been working on in the Pajaro Valley, stepping through the process of mapping, modeling, measuring, and then ultimately monetizing or incentivizing groundwater recharge. … “

Continue reading at Maven’s Notebook by clicking here.

Paying for Groundwater Recharge

From Andrew T. Fisher at the  PPIC Blog:

“Water levels in many of California’s groundwater basins have dropped too far, too fast in recent years, prompting a wave of experimental projects to augment the natural recharge of aquifers. But funding is a missing element in many of these efforts. A new local program to provide incentives for groundwater recharge could be replicated in other parts of the state.

Most Californians who use groundwater do not pay to use it. Instead, in many basins, property owners with an “overlying right” to water underground are free to extract as much as they need for “reasonable and beneficial use,” as loosely defined by state law, paying only for the costs of pumping.

The state’s Sustainable Groundwater Management Act, enacted in 2014, empowers local Groundwater Sustainability Agencies (GSAs) to impose fees in support of long-term water resource management and develop funding mechanisms for projects that conserve water and augment available supplies. … “

Continue reading at the PPIC Blog by clicking here.