Funding is needed to support innovative Aquifer Storage and Recovery projects to improve local groundwater storage and recovery in areas where soil is not suitable for conventional groundwater recharge methods.

Click HERE for Aquifer Storage Recovery Backgrounder.

OVERVIEW: Aquifer Storage and Recovery (ASR) is a water management technique used to store excess surface/flood water in the aquifer for recovery during dry periods when water demand is high. Implementing ASR using agricultural wells is an innovative method that helps manage current and future groundwater use to achieve sustainability and support the resiliency of the Tulare Lake Subbasin in California’s Central Valley.

ASR KEY BENEFITS

  • Mitigates drought impacts in Central Valley areas lacking suitable soil for traditional groundwater recharge methods
  • Water injection targets specific aquifer zones ideal for storage and recovery. Maximizes every drop of water.
  • Increases flood water capture for groundwater recharge, offsetting groundwater use and replenishing supplies, a priority under CA’s SGMA law
  • Localizes water storage in the aquifer for individual agricultural users to efficiently manage groundwater with limited to no impacted on surrounding users

FUNDING NEEDS & REGIONAL SCALE

COST TO CONDUCT FURTHER TESTING OF PILOT SITE: $100,000 – $300,000
LOCAL GSA* WELL TESTING AND PROGRAMMATIC CEQA: $1M – $5M

*Groundwater Sustainability Agency

The South Fork Kings GSA conducted a successful pilot test, but additional testing and research in other ASR
settings is needed to design a full-scale ASR program that could be scaled across the GSA and throughout
the Tulare Lake Subbasin. Research needs include further analysis of geochemical interactions and well
performance changes, assessment of different agricultural well designs, and assessment of different aquifer
zones in the regional aquifer system.

Based on the SFKGSA pilot test, follow up testing at the pilot site is recommended, followed by testing of
additional wells in different settings, and a programmatic CEQA analysis to evaluate environmental impacts
and ASR program implementation issues. Regionally, other GSAs lacking suitable soils for surface recharge can
use this research to consider ASR as a groundwater sustainability strategy in their GSAs.

PILOT STUDY

The South Fork Kings GSA is conducting an ASR pilot test to evaluate the technology. Early indications are showing success. A programmatic CEQA document will be prepared by mid-2022 to present guidelines for performing full-scale ASR projects by late 2022. Video: ASR explained