Fresh Groundwater Supplies Tapped in Water-scarce California

A study has found 32,000 AFY of potentially recoverable water from the Fenner and northern Bristol Valley area in California. Terry Foreman outlines how the water conservation and storage project has measured the scale and recharge rate of the much needed aquifer.

Arecent water supply and storage program has the potential to add to the portfolio of Southern California’s sustainable water resources mix. Cadiz, Inc. owns 34,000 acres of largely contiguous land in the Cadiz and Fenner valleys, located in the eastern Mojave Desert, California, where they have farmed successfully for more than 15 years. Along with agricultural operations, Cadiz, Inc. has been working to expand its water supply and storage resources.

In 2009, Cadiz partnered with CH2M HILL to assess the potential recoverable water that could be conserved over the long-term as well as assess the groundwater in storage in the Fenner Valley and northern Bristol Valley area. The objectives of the study were to assess the volume of groundwater in storage upgradient and in the project area, assess the potential recoverable water that could be conserved through capturing water that would otherwise flow to and evaporate from the dry lakes.

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