Flood-Managed Aquifer Recharge (Flood-MAR)

Flood - MAR illustrated concept of aquifer recharge.

“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.

Contact Us

Jennifer Marr
Supervising Engineer, Water Resources
Division of Statewide Integrated Water Management
(916) 651-9229


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The third Flood-MAR Virtual Public Forum will occur November 8-10, 2021 to continue exploring technical, socioeconomic, regulatory, and policy considerations to advance implementation of projects that use floodwaters for managed aquifer recharge (Flood-MAR).
The 2019 Flood-MAR Public Forum will build on the 2017 Public Forum discussions and specifically focus on topics related to Flood-MAR project implementation.
Join other water resource professionals at the Bridging the Gap Conference to explore how large storm forecasting can be used to maximize water stored in reservoirs and used to recharge groundwater aquifers (Flood MAR).
DWR hosted a listening session in Merced in mid-January with members from the agricultural and rural communities to raise awareness about projects that use floodwaters for groundwater recharge (i.e., Flood-MAR). Feedback from the listening session will help inform DWR’s Flood-MAR program and the lis ...