Groundwater Recharge

In an effort to replenish the groundwater system under Fresno, the City has used groundwater recharge facilities since the 1970’s. Through agreements with the Fresno Irrigation District (FID), the City is able to deliver surface water supplies available to the City from both the San Joaquin and Kings Rivers to open basins that allow water to percolate into the groundwater system. The City owns one major groundwater recharge facility, called Leaky Acres, located near the airport and also has agreements with the Fresno Metropolitan Flood Control District (FMFCD) to use flood control basins throughout the city during the dry months for groundwater recharge purposes.

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Groundwater recharge projects enhance replenishing the aquifer, thereby reducing the depth to water and raising the water table. This in turn reduces power costs to pump water and improves the supply of water available to meet demands.Additionally, nitrate problems, which continue to contaminate wells and require significant capital dollars to treat, may sometimes be mitigated more cost-effectively through utilization of a recharge program. Planned expansion of the City’s groundwater recharge program is necessary to achieve the goals contained in the adopted Urban Water Management Plan (UWMP).

The current groundwater recharge capacity of the existing facilities available to the City is over 50,000 acre-feet per year.

Leaky Acres

Built in 1970, Leaky Acres is comprised of 26 ponds that average 5.5 feet in depth and cover approximately 225 acres. Over the last 45 years, the City has made several improvements to this facility, the most recent being the installation of a screen in 2014 to remove debris from the inlet to the recharge basins. This is intended to improve recharge efficiency. As part of the recently adopted rate plan, the City has over $750,000 budgeted for improvements to this facility to improve recharge capacity and efficiency.

FMFCD Recharge

Through agreements with FMFCD, the City has the ability to deliver available surface water through FID canals to numerous flood control basins throughout the city for groundwater recharge during dry months. As part of the recently adopted rate plan, the City has over $850,000 budget for constructing connections from FID canals to FMFCD basins and making the necessary improvements, such as flow and level monitoring in the basins, to allow for efficient groundwater recharge.

New Groundwater Recharge Facilities

In addition to the existing facilities at Leaky Acres and those owned by FMFCD, the City is working on constructing new groundwater recharge facilities to increase the capacity to replenish the groundwater system.Shallow low-maintenance recharge basins will be constructed and operated year-round. These projectsare intended to specifically target areas of the city that are not covered by FMFCD basins. The City will investigate vacant parcels will for viable recharge, and once locations are identified, the City will attain lease agreements or land purchases.

As part of the adopted rate plan, the City has two projects identified for this purpose. The first project, WR1-Nielsen Recharge, includes almost 18 acres of recharge basins that will have the capacity to recharge approximately 2,000 acre-feet per year. The second project, WR2 does not have a specific location identified, but is intended to be about the same size and have the same capacity.

Project Name: WR1 – Nielsen Recharge

Project Number: WC00050-WR1-001

Council District: County

Location

Intersection of Brawley Ave. and Nielsen Ave.

Project Status

Design

Schedule

Design Start: February 2014
Design Completion: May 2016
Bid Date: September 2016
Construction Contract Bid: October 2016
Construction Start: January 2017
Construction Finish: November 2018

Cost

Total Project Cost Estimate: $3,505,000
Construction Cost Estimate: $1,262,200

City Project Manager

Martin Wendels

Construction Manager

City of Fresno

Design Consultant

Provost & Pritchard Consulting Group, Inc.

Construction Contractor

TBD

Project Name: WR2

Project Number: WC00050-WR2-001

Council District: TBD

Location

TBD

Project Status

Not Started

Schedule

Design Start: May 2019
Design Completion: January 2020
Bid Date: January 2020
Construction Contract Bid: February 2020
Construction Start: April 2020
Construction Finish: October 2020

Cost

Total Project Cost Estimate: $3,538,000
Construction Cost Estimate: $1,190,000

City Project Manager

Glenn Knapp

Construction Manager

City of Fresno

Design Consultant

TBD

Construction Contractor

TBD