whitewater-1-240x175Whitewater groundwater replenishment

The Valley sits atop a massive aquifer, estimated to be 39 million acre feet within 1,000 feet of the surface. But its water level has been dropping. The Valley consumed 317,247 acre feet of groundwater in 2012. Rain and snow naturally replenish about 60,000 acre feet to the aquifer each year. CVWD and the Desert Water Agency manage four groundwater “replenishment facilities” that inject Colorado River water into the aquifer. In2012, the water replenishment rate was 313,840 acre feet, which plus natural sources resulted in more water in than out.

In recent years the canal has been lined as it t was losing 26,000 acre feet a year prior to the construction of a 34.8 mile cement channel. (One acre foot = 325,851 gallons of water). And agriculture has become so efficient in terms of water use, that there is less water flowing into the Salton Sea, causing its evaporation to outpace its replenishment, and thus the lowering of the lake level.

New effort called the Mid-Valley Pipeline Project. It will bring Colorado River water to communities and blend that water with recycled water for golf courses. The region has 123 golf courses; currently only 16 customers (golf courses, a homeowners association and the local high school) are on CVWD’s Recycled Water Program. CVWD has three “warp” plants, Water Reclamation Plants, but they do not process enough water to provide for golf courses that use their own wells. A typical golf course uses 1,000 acre feet per year, enough water for 43,300 homes or 114,583 residents.

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