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Title Soil suitability index identifies potential areas for groundwater banking on agricultural lands
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Abstract

Groundwater pumping chronically exceeds natural recharge in many agricultural regions in California. A common method of recharging groundwater — when surface water is available — is to deliberately flood an open area, allowing water to percolate into an aquifer. However, open land suitable for this type of recharge is scarce. Flooding agricultural land during fallow or dormant periods has the potential to increase groundwater recharge substantially, but this approach has not been well studied. Using data on soils, topography and crop type, we developed a spatially explicit index of the suitability for groundwater recharge of land in all agricultural regions in California. We identified 3.6 million acres of agricultural land statewide as having Excellent or Good potential for groundwater recharge. The index provides preliminary guidance about the locations where groundwater recharge on agricultural land is likely to be feasible. A variety of institutional, infrastructure and other issues must also be addressed before this practice can be implemented widely.

Authors
O'Geen, A.T. : A.T. O'Geen is UC Agriculture and Natural Resources Cooperative Extension (UCCE) Specialist
Saal, Matthew B.B. : M.B.B. Saal is Graduate Student in the Soils and Biogeochemistry Graduate Group at UC Davis
Dahlke Dr, Helen E
Assistant Professor in Integrated Hydrologic Sciences
physical hydrology, surface water - groundwater interactions, nutrient transport, stochastic hydrology
Doll Mr, David Anthony
Pomology Farm Advisor
Almonds, Pistachios, Walnuts, and Urban Forestry
Elkins, Rachel B.
County Director -Lake County, Pomology Farm Advisor in Lake and Mendocino Counties and Master Gardener Advisor in Lake County
Fulton, Allan
Irrigation and Water Resources Advisor
Fogg, Graham E
Professor of Hydrogeology; Hydrogeologist
Hydrology and ground-water hydrology, subsurface contaminant transport, ground-water modeling, geologic and stochastic characterization of subsurface heterogeneity, geostastistics, regional ground-water circulation, petroleum reservoir characterization
Harter Dr, Thomas
Cooperative Extension Specialist
Flow and transport processes in groundwater and in the vadoze zone; non-point source pollution of groundwater; groundwater remediation; groundwater resources management; geostatistics; stochastic analysis; numerical modeling.
Hopmans, Jan W
Professor, Department of Land, Air and Water Resources
Irrigation systems; system analysis; shallow groundwater and drainage water disposal; soil and water management of water resources
Ingels, Chuck
Farm Advisor
Tree crops, grapes, environmental horticulture, and Master Gardeners/urban horticulture. Areas of research and extension focus include IPM, evaluation of sustainable products and practices, water conservation and deficit irrigation, home orchards and vineyards, sustainable landscaping, alternative turfgrass species, and tree training, pruning, and grafting.
Niederholzer, Franz J.A.
Farm Advisor   Orchard Systems
Prunes, almonds, pears, apple, cherry, olive, plum, citrus, and pomegranate
Sandoval Solis, Samuel
Assistant Professor and Cooperative Extension Specialist in Water Resources
Water Resources Management
Verdegaal, Paul S
Farm Advisor, Emeritus
Viticulture, almonds
Walkinshaw, Mike : M. Walkinshaw is GIS Analyst in the Department of Land, Air and Water Resources at UC Davis.
Publication Date Apr 1, 2015
Date Added Jun 29, 2015
Copyright © The Regents of the University of California
Copyright Year 2015
Description

In wet years, farm plots could serve as percolation basins for aquifer recharge; an analysis of data on soil, crops and topography highlights promising sites.

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