Depleted groundwater could be refilled by borrowing a trick from solar power
Pajaro Valley on the coast of central California has little surface water, so its farmers depend on extracting groundwater to grow leafy greens and berries for the global market. … In some places, water managers actively refill groundwater to ameliorate this tragedy of the commons. One method of doing so is to divert stormwater runoff into scooped basins that have been built over porous ground into which the water quickly sinks. … Yet California squandered much of the bounty from its recent unusually wet winter, as levees, channelized rivers and paved cities funneled much of the runoff into the ocean rather than capturing it. What’s needed is a distributed solution… Using [Recharge Net Metering], the Pajaro Valley Water Management Agency compensates landowners for a percentage of the amount of water they infiltrate underground.