Conjunctive Use

DWR, Water Available for Replenishment Report

Conjunctive use is a term used to describe the planned use of both surface water and groundwater resources to maximize total water availability in a region long-term. For example, a region with surface water supplies may choose to undertake an aggressive water recharge program in wet years, with the goal of having  additional groundwater in storage that can be used during dry years.

Conjunctive use is not a new concept in California. Indeed, many agencies have implemented conjunctive management programs as buffers against drought, subsidence and groundwater level decline. Conjunctive management can be large-scale, like the Semitropic Water Storage District’s 2.1 million acre feet (MAF) capacity operation or in urban environments, like the Compton Water Department’s 2,289 acre feet (AF) groundwater bank.

Conjunctive management projects have many benefits. They improve local water supply, reduce groundwater overdraft, increase flood protection, help meet environmental needs, improve groundwater quality, and counter subsidence.

Water Rights and Permitting

Depending upon the parameters of the recharge project, you may or may not need to obtain a water rights or other permits from the State Water Board.

For more information:

Water rights for groundwater recharge

Aquifer storage and recovery

Groundwater permitting (general page)

Protection of Recharge Areas

Protecting natural recharge areas helps to maximize natural recharge to groundwater basins, provide flood protection, and improves water quality. ​

For more information:

​Protection of Recharge Areas: Resource Management Strategy (DWR)

Map of Hydrologically vulnerable areas (State Water Board)

Explore conjunctive use at the California Water Library

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