How Arizona, California and other states are trying to generate a whole new water supply

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How Arizona, California and other states are trying to generate a whole new water supply

BY GIANNA MELILLO – 01/22/23 5:00 PM ET

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Underground storage may be a key for Western states navigating water shortages and extreme weather.  

Aquifers under the ground have served as a reliable source of water for years. During rainy years, the aquifers would fill up naturally, helping areas get by in the dry years. 

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But growing demand for water coupled with climate change has resulted in shortages as states pump out water from aquifers faster than they can be replenished. 

The fallout can also lead to damaged vegetation and wildlife as streams run dry and damage to aqueducts and flood control structures from sinking land

Municipalities and researchers across the country are working on ways to more efficiently replenish emptied-out aquifers.  

By overpumping aquifers “you’ve created space. There’s space under the ground that used to be filled with water,” explained Michael Kiparsky, water program director at the Center for Law, Energy & the Environment at the University of California, Berkeley School of Law.   

“And what we can do with these groundwater recharge projects is take advantage of that space, which is vastly greater than the sum of all of the surface storage reservoirs that exist now or could be built,” he said.  

Several communities across California, Arizona and other states have been using managed aquifer recharge for years to better regulate local water supplies.  

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Category: News View 38

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