Due to massive fields and particular crops, California’s agricultural economy is renowned worldwide. The recent climate changes have affected the rain cycle massively and given rise to wet and dry years.
Each year the land either suffers from floods or droughts, both equally destructive. To resolve the issue, California’s town Huron is building a new recharge system to store flood water and use it during droughts. Read more in the article.
Why Aren’t Traditional Water Storing Methods Enough?
The traditional water storing methods included dams, aqueducts, and reservoirs built on a river. These systems divert the river water, which disturbs the natural ecosystem.
In today’s economy, these structures are expensive to build and might not be enough to serve the entire population. Years of permission and seizing vast lands to build these structures don’t serve the population either.
Therefore, locals are searching for other lucrative methods to resolve the issue. Finding a solution is essential, especially when they don’t get their allocated water during droughts, exacerbating the issue.
What Is a Recharge System?
A recharged system consists of aquifers that hold the water underground. These structures are mainly porous and percolate the flood water.
Later through wells, water is extracted from these underground structures. While aquifers are usually natural structures, they can also be created artificially.
Since the structures are mainly underground, they don’t take up space on the land, unlike dams. Moreover, these projects are relatively cheaper than constructing reservoirs and gain permits quickly.
How Will the New Project Help Resolve California’s Flooding Issues?
The new project started in Huron, which may expand to other Californian agricultural towns, is based on constructing a recharge system. Since vast lands are required to create natural aquifers, residents have donated their unused lands.
Lands that once grew tomatoes and hemp will now be turned into aquifers as they’re useless for agriculture due to drying. The Huron project is expected to save around 326 billion gallons of water which can serve over 2 million households annually.
It will cost around $2 million to carry out the project effectively with $1.8 million of this total sum will be covered through state grants. A similar project recently built new recharge systems near east Huron in Okieville.
The town had severely suffered between 2012-16 when the state was hit with its last massive drought. California’s Department of Water Resources has clarified that 340 other similar projects have received permissions for building recharging systems.
If these structures are ready by 2030, they’ll be able to provide water to 4.4 million homes in a year. Apart from solving the water scarcity issues occurring during droughts, these recharge systems will also save people, their homes, and produce from catastrophic flooding.
While the new recharge system projects may not solve all of California’s water scarcity issues, they will mitigate major agricultural issues. Moreover, these projects also look promising for saving residents and crops from floods, another major issue around the state.