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Water scarcity is a growing concern for many Western states as droughts become more frequent and severe due to Climate change. But there may be a solution hiding underground: aquifer recharge. Aquifers, or underground layers of water-bearing rock, have been a reliable source of water for years. However, as the demand for water increases and Climate change causes more extreme weather, aquifers are being depleted faster than they can be replenished. This not only leads to water shortages but also harms vegetation and wildlife and can damage flood control structures.

Source: CBS News/Youtube

To combat this problem, municipalities and researchers across the country are working on ways to more efficiently replenish emptied-out aquifers through a process called managed aquifer recharge (MAR). By overpumping aquifers, “you’ve created space. There’s space under the ground that used to be filled with water,” explains Michael Kiparsky, water program director at the Center for Law, Energy & the Environment at the University of California, Berkeley School of Law. “And what we can do with these groundwater recharge projects is take advantage of that space, which is vastly greater than the sum of all of the surface storage reservoirs that exist now or could be built.”

Several communities across California, Arizona, and other states have been using MAR for years to better regulate local water supplies. California, where 85 percent of the population relies on groundwater for some portion of its supply, has proposed over 340 recharge projects. The California Department of Water Resources has also announced plans to expedite the permitting process for recharge projects to help meet its goal of expanding average groundwater recharge by at least 500,000 acre-feet each year. In Orange County, 65 million gallons of treated water are pumped into recharge basins in Anaheim each day. Arizona has also had success with MAR through the Arizona Water Banking Authority (AWBA), which has stored nearly 5,600 million cubic meters of surface water from the Colorado River since 1996.

MAR can take many different forms. Communities can create percolation basins, where stormwater or excess river flows are collected in basins that are intentionally left open. Over time, water settles itself into the soil below and eventually into aquifers. Dry wells, which stop above the water table and allow water to percolate the rest of the way, can be constructed, along with injection wells, which lead water directly into aquifers.

MAR holds the potential to bolster water security in drought-stricken regions while improving the health of the environment. If it can be pulled off, “it holds the promise of being able to generate a whole new water supply we didn’t even know that we had,” says Kiparsky. It’s time to take action, if you are living in Western states, consider supporting local recharge projects and encouraging your municipality to explore this alternative water supply solution.

In conclusion, managed aquifer recharge is a promising solution for addressing water shortages in Western states. By replenishing depleted aquifers, communities can improve water security and Support a healthier environment. If implemented on a wide enough scale, recharge projects have the potential to generate a whole new water supply. As a resident of Western states, you can play an essential role in supporting this solution by encouraging your municipality to explore recharge projects and supporting local recharge initiatives. Together, we can ensure a sustainable water supply for future generations.

Climate change leads to extreme weather like droughts, floods, and fires. The single BEST thing you can do to save water is to stop eating meat and all animal products. Growing animals for livestock takes a massive amount of water. It takes nearly 660 gallons of water to just make one burger, which is equivalent to nearly two months of showering for the average person. On the other hand, it takes 1,000 gallons of water to make just one gallon of cow milk.

Studies have shown that eating more plant-based can add over a decade to your lifespan, it can save the world’s forests, it benefits the environment, and it is significantly better for your health! Nations around the world have urged people to eat more plant-based to curb climate change.

We highly recommend downloading the Food Monster App — with over 20,000 delicious recipes, it is the largest meatless, plant-based, vegan, and allergy-friendly recipe resource to help reduce your environmental footprint, save animals and get healthy! And, while you are at it, we encourage you to also learn about the environmental and health benefits of a plant-based diet.

There’s Only One Green Planet T-Shirt by Tiny Rescue: Climate Collection

There’s Only One Green Planet T-Shirt by Tiny Rescue: Climate Collection

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