Helping Nature Store Our Water

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The San Bernardino Valley Water Conservation District has kicked off a new hydrological study to quadruple the amount of water that can be returned to the underground aquifer near Mill Creek, an 18-mile-long stream where the District currently manages 57 percolation basins to capture storm flows to recharge local groundwater supplies.

Read more: High-tech modeling to quadruple groundwater recharge

Local students are learning more about water and where it comes from, thanks to a partnership we have with the Inland Empire Resource Conservation District, which provides water education on behalf of the district to students in grades K-5.

Read more: Water outreach back in classrooms

Recent storms in the San Bernardino Mountains have brought welcome flows of water for recharge. Totals for the month saw 870 acre-feet of water captured for percolation into the aquifer. At 236 million gallons, that's enough to serve 5,700 people for one year.

The San Bernardino Valley Water Conservation District has been working with the U.S. Geological Survey to analyze data collected during San Bernardino kangaroo rat monitoring completed since last fall. The work will help to shape future monitoring to optimize success. It included trappings from late-July to mid-August of this year, and soil sampling. The research will help to identify where and why the kangaroo rat is setting up habitat in certain areas, and could help in regional monitoring of the species.

Just the words “Santa Ana” connote dryness. The Santa Ana winds sweep through Southern California, whipping around dust and brush, propelling the region into fire season. The Santa Ana River Wash, also, is dry for much of the year. While dryness conjures imagery of wilted plants, arid desert landscapes and brittle sunbaked animal skeletons, the Santa Ana River Wash is flush with life — you just have to know what to look for.

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