NEWS WORTH NOTING: Recharge roundtable call to action: Key steps for replenishing California groundwater; Metropolitan invests in future development of local water supplies

Recharge roundtable call to action: Key steps for replenishing California groundwater

From UC Water and the Groundwater Resources Association:

There are only two ways to reduce groundwater overdraft: decrease pumping or increase recharge.

While addressing California’s overdraft will certainly require both actions, we convened a meeting of water management experts around groundwater recharge. The goal of the “Recharge Roundtable” was to address California’s severe groundwater overdraft problem through actions that would produce substantial increases in recharge in the next five years.

As a collaboration between the Groundwater Resources Association of California and the University of California Water Security and Sustainability Research Initiative, we aimed to motivate focused actions that effect large quantities of recharge and produce regional benefits. The Recharge Roundtable participants and organizers produced a call to action, organized around six key questions and related action steps:

  1. How much water is hydrologically available for recharge?
  2. How much water can be recharged in different hydrogeologic environments?
  3. What are the legal and regulatory bottlenecks, and how can they be eliminated or reduced?
  4. How can hundreds to thousands of recharge projects be incentivized?
  5. What changes in reservoir reoperation and conveyance are needed?
  6. What are the water quality benefits and concerns for recharge?

It is increasingly obvious that tantalizing possibilities for increasing recharge to California’s aquifers exist, yet state and local water agencies and stakeholders are not sufficiently prepared to capitalize on those possibilities. This call to action is intended to help our state prepare.

Download the Call to Action:Recharge Roundtable Call to Action: Key Steps for Replenishing California Groundwater (Updated January 2019)

Metropolitan invests in future development of local water supplies

Agency provides $3.5 million for research to facilitate the future development of seawater desalination, groundwater, stormwater capture, recycled water

The potential future production of more local water supplies received a financial boost Tuesday (Jan. 8) from the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California.Metropolitan’s Board of Directors gave the final approvals necessary to provide $3.5 million for 15 pilot projects and technical studies aimed at reducing the technical and regulatory barriers for seawater desalination and groundwater enhancement as well as stormwater and recycled water.

Under Metropolitan’s Future Supply Actions Funding Program, 11 Metropolitan member agencies were awarded funding. When combined with matching funds from the member agencies, and other local, state and federal resources, an additional $8 million will be infused into the projects.

“The status quo is never good enough, not when we have the responsibility of ensuring Southern California has access to a reliable water supply today and into the future,” said Metropolitan Chairwoman Gloria Gray. “We are constantly looking for opportunities to develop additional water resources.”

The Future Supply Actions program is part of Metropolitan’s Integrated Resources Plan, a comprehensive roadmap to expand and diversify the region’s water supply portfolio.
In August, Metropolitan invited member agencies to submit proposals requesting up to $500,000 of funding. A panel composed of Metropolitan staff and independent experts evaluated the proposals based on how projects could help increase potential for development of local water supplies and provide regional benefits, in addition to the effectiveness of proposed work plans, schedules and costs.

Selected projects include analyzing an innovative reverse osmosis process in brackish groundwater treatment; testing an EPA-certified pesticide to manage invasive quagga and zebra mussels in stormwater recharge basins; and piloting artificial intelligence technology in the control systems of a water treatment plant.

This is the second round of funding provided through Metropolitan’s FSA program. Under a 2013 pilot, Metropolitan provided about $3 million for 13 technical studies and pilot projects. The program culminated in a conference where participating agencies showcased their projects and results. Details and reports about those projects are available here.

“The FSA program is key to helping us address an uncertain water future,” said Metropolitan General Manager Jeffrey Kightlinger. “By investing in studies by our member agency partners, we’re increasing the knowledge and data available throughout the region, helping us all make more informed decisions about the potential for new water resource programs in Southern California.”

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About News Worth Noting:  News Worth Noting is a collection of press releases, media statements, and other materials produced by federal, state, and local government agencies, water agencies, and academic institutions, as well as non-profit and advocacy organizations.  News Worth Noting also includes relevant legislator statements and environmental policy and legal analyses that are publicly released by law firms.  If your agency or organization has an item you would like included here, please email it to Maven.

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