Author: Nathan Rott Claire Harbage

California wants to store floodwaters underground. It's harder than it sounds

Source(s): NPR
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More water stored underground means fewer flooded farms, and more water available to farmers like him during the next inevitable drought.

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"The condition we find ourselves in right now is that there are billions of gallons of water just flowing right through us, right on by, and heading down and filling the Tulare Lake," Giacomazzi said, referencing the long-dried lake — once the largest west of the Mississippi River — that's come roaring back to life during this winter's storms.

California water officials are scrambling to catch as much of the floodwaters as they can. In January, as a series of atmospheric rivers blasted the state with rain and snow, the state's Department of Water Resources announced it was accelerating permitting for projects that put water back into the aquifers.

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"The issue with these water systems in California is that every couple of miles in this state, it's a completely different independently-operated situation," Giacomazzi said. "There isn't really a coordinating body that sits over the top if that says, 'Here's what we need to do. Let's do it together.'"

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Hazards Drought Flood
Themes Water
Country and region United States of America
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