California Land Use Viewer can help growers determine if they can adopt groundwater recharge practices on their own operations.
A new data visualization tool released by the California Department of Water Resources (DWR) allows growers, Groundwater Sustainability Agencies (GSAs), and the public to easily access both statewide and existing county land use data sets collected over the last 30 years.
Growers can use DWR’s California Land Use Viewer in tandem with University of California (UC) Davis’s Soil Agricultural Groundwater Banking Index, or University of California (UC) Davis’s Soil Agricultural Groundwater Banking Index (SAGBI). SAGBI serves as a resource for growers to determine the suitability of groundwater recharge on agricultural land.
Already being implemented on several farms across the state, groundwater banking uses excess surface water to flood fields and replenish groundwater reserves. Researchers at UC Davis suggest this technique can restore Californian’s impacted aquifers without harming crops.
Don Cameron at Terra Nova Ranch in Fresno, CA, for example, has been actively working with state university and government partners to implement groundwater recharge. The operation estimates by using groundwater banking they can recharge up to 1,000 acre feet of floodwater per day.
Coupled with vital information provided by both DWR’s land use viewer and SAGBI, growers will be bettered positioned to see if they can adopt groundwater recharge practices on their own operations.