Groundwater Recharge Projects Informs Statewide Sustainability Efforts

Tim Stephens
July 30, 2018

The depletion of California's aquifers by overpumping of groundwater has led to growing interest in "managed aquifer recharge," which replenishes depleted aquifers using available surface waters, such as high flows in rivers, runoff from winter storms, or recycled waste water. At the same time, there is growing concern about contamination of groundwater supplies with nitrate from fertilizers, septic tanks, and other sources.

Researchers at UC Santa Cruz are addressing both issues with an ongoing program in the Pajaro Valley, where they have been implementing and studying groundwater recharge projects and evaluating methods to improve water quality as it infiltrates into the ground.

"As we ramp up groundwater recharge efforts, it's important to avoid contributing tp problems with water quality. If we're putting good quality water into the ground, it will dilute any contaminants that are already in the groundwater,"

said Andrew Fisher, professor of Earth and Planetary sceinces at UC Santa Cruz.

"We've been trying to hit the problem at multiple levels by partnering with regional agencies and collaborating with other researchers, "

he said. Fisher serves as campus lead for the UC Water Security and Sustainability Research Initiative (UC Water), which is helping to build collaborations and partnerships to address water management issues.

Check out the full article from UC Santa Cruz news:

ALSO SEE: Andrew Fisher's recent publication in Water Research on Enhancing water quality during infiltration for MAR:

Get to know the students and staff of the UC Santa Cruz Hydrogeology Lab that help conduct this research:

Araceli Serrano
Jenny Pensky
Hannah Dailey
Galen Gorski
Sarah Beganskas