Recharge efforts paying dividends in Central California

Recharge efforts paying dividends in Central California

New data released by the Westlands Water District this week shows the District’s groundwater recharge efforts are paying off. In May 2023, groundwater elevation levels in the Lower Aquifer registered at –54 mean sea level, which is an increase of 40 feet compared to average groundwater elevation in the fall of 2022.

Westlands has been able to take advantage of the increased surface water supply this year, recharging 60,000 acre-feet from March 1 through June 20, 2023. The District’s goal is to recharge more than 200,000 acre-feet by the end of February 2024.

Since 2019, Westlands has been working with District landowners to establish on-farm recharge projects, with the goal of taking advantage of abundant water supply (when available) to improve groundwater levels in the lower and upper aquifers.

Additional recharge projects will be online in the coming months as the District has processed 273 applications for 61 Aquifer Storage and Recovery, 131 flood Managed Aquifer Recharge (MAR) projects, 77 percolation basins and 4 sublateral projects.

Westlands offers three groundwater recharge programs to help landowners refill and replenish the aquifers in the District. Project types include percolation basins, flood irrigation, sublateral recharge, and dry well injection.

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