#California’s feeble attempt to capture rainwater


With winter rains filling California rivers and reservoirs in a dramatic display of drought-ending bluster, the rush is on to capture the overflow before the bounty is squandered, washed forever to sea.

Numerous water agencies from the Central Valley to the Central Coast are busy stashing surplus water underground, a practice known as groundwater recharge in which excess from lakes and creeks is steered onto barren fields, where it soaks into the aquifer below.

But as well-meaning as these efforts are, they often lack the land to bank as much water as they could, experts say. Committing property to the low-payoff endeavor doesn’t usually pencil out. And even when the investment is made, there’s typically no assurance that those putting water in the ground will benefit — instead of a neighbor with a well.

Read the whole story in the San Francisco Chronicle


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