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

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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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