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Posted on: October 3, 2023

Yuba Water receives funding to improve groundwater monitoring, modeling, recharge and more

Longhorn cattle walk down a path in between flooded rice fields.

Yuba Water Agency will receive more than $4.3 million from the California Department of Water Resources to expand groundwater monitoring and modeling and to identify areas most suitable for groundwater recharge projects in Yuba County.

“We have always strived to be a leader in sustainable groundwater management, so we're really excited about the groundwater work that this grant will support,” said Yuba Water Supervising Hydrologist Charles Johnck. “While we don't know exactly what will come out of it, we hope to identify some locations best suited for future groundwater recharge projects. Our groundwater supply is in great condition already, but this would be like the cherry on top of our work to ensure we have a sustainable groundwater supply for the long haul." 

Yuba Water manages two groundwater subbasins in the region, together as a unit, in partnership with local irrigation districts and the City of Marysville. The North Yuba Subbasin is north of the Yuba River, while the South Yuba Subbasin is south of the Yuba River.

Most of the funds will be used to refine a numerical model that accounts for the amount of surface and groundwater entering and leaving the Yuba subbasins and update the Yuba groundwater sustainability plan. The plan is a requirement under the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act, which requires groundwater sustainability plans to be updated every five years and include measurable objectives and milestones to achieve sustainability. The next update is due January 2025.

Funding will also be used to install new groundwater monitoring wells, which will fill gaps in local understanding of the quality and quantity of water in the Yuba subbasins. The funds will also support a groundwater recharge feasibility study to help identify the best locations in Yuba County to recharge underground water storage.

“We plan to partner with the county to look at some of their stormwater detention basins and other facilities, as well for potential groundwater recharge options,” Johnck said. 

Yuba Water previously received funding from DWR to develop and implement the Yuba groundwater sustainability plan. This latest round of funding will build upon the agency’s previous sustainable groundwater management. 

DWR awarded $187 million to 32 groundwater subbasins throughout California earlier this month to improve sustainable groundwater use and storage statewide.

Learn more about Yuba Water’s groundwater management here and read DWR’s funding announcement here.

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