DroughtSGMAWater Banking

Delano’s “big dig”

 •  by Lois Henry
Delano-Earlimart Irrigation District General Manager Eric. R. Quinley shows where water will flow in new recharge ponds under construction. The Delano district has invested $30 million in 640 acres of new recharge ponds. CREDIT: Lois Henry

The state’s new groundwater law has prompted a lot of dirt movement in the Central Valley.

The Sustainable Groundwater Management Act passed in 2014 mandates that overdrafted water basins get their aquifers in balance — don’t pump out more than goes back in — by 2040.

In order to get there without massive farmland fallowing, most valley water managers have been adding as many acres of recharge ground as possible.

The Delano-Earlimart Irrigation District has been particularly aggressive.

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Lois Henry

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