Westlands sees significant success with groundwater recharge efforts

The district set a lofty goal after an extremely wet winter earlier in the year.

Westlands Water District is well on its way to reaching its goal of recharging 200,000 acre feet of groundwater by early next year. 

The district announced Thursday that it is over halfway there, having recharged 127,000 acre feet of groundwater so far. 


The big picture: Westlands, the largest agricultural water district in the nation, is hoping to recharge 200,000 acre feet of groundwater by the end of the water year in February 2024. The water district set its goal in March after the region experienced one of the wettest years on record with increased surface water supply. 

  • A factor in Westlands’ success so far has been the development of on-farm recharge projects with district landowners. The district has processed over 300 recharge projects to date, improving groundwater levels in lower and upper aquifers. 

Why it matters: Groundwater recharge moves water from the surface into an aquifer below ground and serves as a safety net against future droughts. 

What they’re saying: “This tremendous progress reflects the District’s earnest commitment to building a sustainable water future for the District’s family farms,” said Jeff Fortune, Board President. “The District is committed to utilizing and making the most of the abundance of water we received this past winter to plan for future dry years. The District’s recharge projects will provide a lifeline to hundreds of family-owned farms during periods of prolonged drought.”

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