Agriculture

Can almond acreage help refill California’s underground aquifers?

A December 2014 file photo shows almonds being harvested near Easton.
A December 2014 file photo shows almonds being harvested near Easton. ezamora@fresnobee.com

Almond Board of California and Sustainable Conservation have launched a two-year research project aimed at exploring the use of the state’s vast almond acres to help recharge underground aquifers.

In anticipation of an El Niño year, researchers will look for growers interested in recharging as part of ongoing trials by Sustainable Conservation. Researchers also will collect information from farmers with experience in groundwater recharging.

The Almond Board also will fund research on how almond trees are affected when excess floodwater is applied to an orchard. Field trials are planned in Merced, Stanislaus and Fresno counties.

An agriculture technology firm, Land IQ, will assist in finding orchards suitable for groundwater recharge.

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