Flood-Managed Aquifer Recharge (Flood-MAR)
“Flood-MAR” is an integrated and voluntary resource management strategy that uses flood water resulting from, or in anticipation of, rainfall or snow melt for managed aquifer recharge (MAR) on agricultural lands and working landscapes, including but not limited to refuges, floodplains, and flood bypasses. Flood-MAR can be implemented at multiple scales, from individual landowners diverting flood water with existing infrastructure, to using extensive detention/recharge areas and modernizing flood management infrastructure/operations.
Flood-MAR projects can provide broad benefits for Californians and the ecosystems of the state, including:
- Water supply reliability
- Flood risk reduction
- Drought Preparedness
- Aquifer Replenishment
- Ecosystem Enhancement
- Subsidence Mitigation
- Water Quality Improvement
- Working Landscape
Preservation and Stewardship
- Climate Change Adaptation
- Recreation and Aesthetics
There is strong, and growing, interest across the state in understanding the benefits, limitations, concerns, costs, and funding opportunities for Flood-MAR projects. DWR plans to work with other state, federal, tribal, and local entities; academia; and landowners. Together, we will build on the knowledge and lessons from past and ongoing studies and programs, pursue expanded implementation of Flood-MAR, and make Flood-MAR an integral part of California’s water portfolio.
DWR requests parties interested in Flood-MAR to complete a brief survey about their project. This survey will help guide DWR’s program, reconnaissance studies, guidance, and research and data development effort. Take the Flood-MAR Survey
Public Comments on Draft White Paper
- California Sportfishing Protection Alliance
- Environmental Science Associates
- Sustainable Conservation
- USACE Hydrologic Engineering Center
- Point Blue Conservation Science/Audubon California/Environmental Defense Fund/American Rivers/California Trout/River Partners/The Nature Conservancy/Sacramento River Preservation Trust
- California Central Coast Regional Water Quality Control Board
- Consultant - Strategic Groundwater Planning and Management
- California Farm Bureau Federation
- UC Water and Groundwater Resources Association Comments
- Bachand Associates
- System Reoperation Program
- SGMA Groundwater Management
- Innovation, Investment, and Infrastructure Needed to Replenish Groundwater Basins, New Report Shows (WAFR Report)
- Critically Overdrafted Basins
- California Water Plan Updates
- Water Resources Sustainability
- Central Valley Flood Protection Plan (CVFPP)
Supervising Engineer, Water Resources
Division of Statewide Integrated Water Management
California is known for its variable climate. Climate change will only exacerbate this variability, so water managers are eyeing a way to capitalize on the extremes by harnessing flood waters and redirecting them into parched aquifers.
DWR requests review and comment from interested parties for the draft Flood-MAR Research and Data Development Framework. The comment period will be open until Thursday, September 20.
DWR recognizes the need to rehabilitate and modernize water and flood infrastructure in California. Floodwater for Managed Aquifer Recharge, or Flood-MAR, is an emerging water management strategy that can significantly improve water resources sustainability throughout the state.