Groundwater recharge and the potential to solve today's water challenges
This World Water Day, March 22nd, the focus will be on the nature-based solutions that have the potential to solve many of today’s water challenges. But did you know that the California almond community has supported water sustainability research since 1982?
Today, the Almond Board of California and its research partners are exploring the extent to which the state’s almond orchards can be used to replenish underground aquifers. A shared resource between farmers, families and businesses, the act of replenishing these groundwater basins through recharge brings many benefits.
Preliminary findings from Almond Board-funded research show promising results and high potential for on-farm recharge to be part of the long-term solution for water sustainability in California:
- Via on-farm trials, UC Davis researchers have found winter recharge of groundwater had no negative effect on almond trees and, in some locations, helped trees stay more hydrated during the growing season. Maintaining tree health is an important factor for farmers considering this practice.
- Preliminary findings from Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory has found distinct localized pathways where water moves more quickly through the soil, even if the soil surface looked the same. With information like this farmers could target specific areas of their orchards to get the greatest recharge effect.
The California almond community is driven by multi-generational family farmers who are committed to sustainable practices that respect the environment, their community, and the need to manage resources carefully for future generations. The result is a safe and stable supply of almonds, which manufacturers can use to deliver on consumers’ taste, texture and nutrition demands, as well as their need for wholesome, natural, sustainable choices.