Westlands gets $25 million for recharge projects

Westlands Water District will be able to significantly add to its successful recharge projects over the past year.

Westlands Water District has received $25 million from the federal government to fund priority groundwater recharge and storage projects. 

The funding comes through the Inflation Reduction Act and is part of the new South-of-Delta Drought Plan.


The big picture: Funding is part of a multi-year pilot study for drought management led by the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation where participating water users contribute water to be stored for future use in dry years. 

  • Westlands has ramped up its groundwater recharge projects in recent years, having recharged 380,000 acre-feet of surface water back into district aquifers since March 2023. 
  • Westlands will use the money for projects including bermed recharge basins, aquifer storage and recovery wells and accompanying infrastructure to convey water to these facilities. 
  • Projects will be prioritized near the Coalinga Canal and in the district’s subsidence-prone areas near the San Luis Canal. 

What they’re saying: Westlands General Manager Allison Febbo thanked Reclamation for recognizing the dire need for investment in drought relief. 

  • “These funds will allow the District to expand our robust groundwater recharge operations and explore groundwater banking, providing a more reliable water supply to hundreds of family-owned farms and disadvantaged communities in our region during periods of drought,” Febbo said. 
  • She continued, “Federal investment in our groundwater storage projects is critical to provide options for banking water outside of San Luis Reservoir, increasing the volume of water that can be available when it’s needed, and the flexibility with managing the resource amongst water users. The District is excited to move forward with these projects that will improve drought resilience and help build a sustainable water future for the San Joaquin Valley.” 
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