From AgAlert  The historically wet winter early this year motivated greater adoption of a water management strategy known as flood-managed aquifer recharge, or flood-MAR, in which excess flood flows are diverted onto farmland to boost depleted groundwater aquifers. “We knew from the previous year, even in intense drought years, we have opportunities with these big storm events and need to do everything we can,” said California Department of Water Resources Director Karla Nemeth, addressing water managers, farmers, government officials and others, as part of the Flood-MAR Forum in Sacramento last week. “Our ability to respond to those kinds of intense rain events is becoming increasingly important.”

Pointing to atmospheric rivers that hit the state in January, Nemeth highlighted the executive order by Gov. Gavin Newsom that enabled farmers to divert water onto farmland for groundwater recharge, which also helped mitigate flooding impacts. Taking advantage of wet conditions is important for the state, especially as local groundwater sustainability agencies, or GSAs, have until 2040 and 2042 to implement plans and projects to bring groundwater basins into balance, as required by the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act, or SGMA. (more)