Replenishing groundwater and managing its sustainability is a focus of our farm. Replenishing groundwater means putting water back into the ground. As the drought in California continues, recharge ponds are a method to capture and replenish groundwater to store it in the aquifer for use later. Recharge can happen naturally or artificially. Natural recharge is simply rain and streamflow that soaks into the ground to an underlying aquifer. In urban environments, this is often impeded as hard surfaces such as roads, rooftops, and parking lots prevent rain from soaking back into the ground.
To facilitate groundwater recharge, this can be done artificially by using recharge ponds, which are constructed surface basins that purposefully capture rain water and allow it to slowly infiltrate through the soil into the underground aquifer to replenish our water source.
Our farm’s seasonal pond is such a recharge pond that helps promote groundwater sustainability. The rainwater that is captured by the pond slowly seeps into the ground over time, and replenishes the aquifer below. When the pond is full, it also attracts geese and wild ducks and becomes a seasonal wildlife refuge.