Thursday April 28, 2022


During drought years, California relies heavily on its groundwater supply. As droughts become longer and more intense with climate change, it’s becoming more important than ever to “bank” excess surface water during stormy weather patterns in order to provide some long-term insurance.

That’s the goal of the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act, which was passed in 2014. In order to meet that goal, state and local water managers need to work together to search for possible methods of recharging groundwater aquifers. And the sooner the better, because there is a lot of water missing from those basins.

“The amount of groundwater overdraft that we have accumulated over the last couple of decades is exceeding 160 million acre-feet, which is about 1.3 times Lake Tahoe,” Dr. Helen Dahlke, a hydrology expert at UC Davis, said.

Dahlke and a team of researchers recently shared findings from their study showing how California’s 8 million acres of farmland could be tapped as one way to help get water back into the ground through a process called ‘Ag-MAR.’

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