Friday Flashback: How groundwater banking is done: A look at three groundwater banking operations

From the archives of Maven’s Notebook:

Original publish date: September 3, 2013


California has long relied on surface reservoirs to manage the state’s fluctuating water supply as evidenced by the over 1300 reservoirs both large and small that dot the landscape – from Redding in the north to San Diego in the south.  However, environmental impacts, evaporation, and other concerns associated with reservoirs and the dams that create them have caused a shift towards groundwater banking as a water storage and management strategy for California.

The Central Valley, especially the southern portion of Kern County, is home to numerous groundwater banking operations which played a critical role during the dry years of 2007 to 2009, recovering over two-million acre-feet of banked supplies to their customers.  However, groundwater banking is not just for the wide-open spaces of the Central Valley; when properly managed, the same techniques can be applied to groundwater basins in urban areas, providing a reliable local source of water.

So how does it work?

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