Persistent rainfall results in groundwater recharge
The initial recharge could provide enough water to serve more than 300 homes for a year
As California experiences significant rainfall to start the New Year, Roseville will begin operations on January 6 to recharge the groundwater basin using specially designed underground water wells. Heavy storm surges bringing much-needed rain over the past few days mean Folsom Reservoir has quickly gained a significant amount of water, and releases are needed for flood control.
Over the next week, Roseville will capture an initial surplus of water from Folsom Reservoir – nearly 60 million gallons – through our contract with the US Bureau of Reclamation’s Central Valley Project to store excess water within the aquifers. We intend to use this water beneficially when we have dry conditions.
“Because of our investments in groundwater management more than two decades ago, we are reaping the benefits to start this New Year by accessing water that would otherwise be lost and banking it locally for later, ” said Sean Bigley, assistant director for Roseville Environmental Services. . “Over the past two years, we have collected more than 325 million liters of water and used it to manage drought conditions.”
Just a year ago, Roseville collected enough water to fill 160 Olympic-sized swimming pools. Later in 2022, that water was used as a drinking water supply to reduce dependence on Folsom Reservoir.
Using Folsom Reservoir water to recharge the groundwater basin provides numerous benefits, including:
Capturing water that would have been unnecessarily dumped into the ocean Bank water in “underground reservoirs” – like a savings account – to be used in a coordinated way depending on water conditions and softening surface water supplies when surface water is scarce. Active recharge to ensure healthy groundwater basin health as required by state law and as a good steward of our water resources
Roseville anticipates having more surface water available for recharge in the coming weeks, but that depends on the need to create additional winter flood capacity at Folsom Reservoir.
Roseville’s actions are part of a regional strategy to adapt the Sacramento-area water system to climate change by storing — or “banking” — excess surface water underground during wet periods for later use during dry times. The groundwater aquifer is a reservoir beneath our feet that can hold twice the volume of water as Folsom Reservoir.
“Now is the time to put this water to use as this series of storms passes,” said Jim Peifer, Executive Director of the Regional Water Authority, which represents nearly two dozen water providers serving 2 million people in the Sacramento region and is leading efforts for the development of the Water Bank. “Roseville is doing its part to build a reliable water system for customers and the Sacramento region.”
For more information about Roseville’s groundwater program, visit Roseville.ca.us/groundwater or visit Roseville.ca.us/waterfuture to learn more about Roseville’s water resource planning.
Information about the Sacramento Regional Water Bank and how to get involved is available at https://rwah2o.org/waterbankengage/.