First Water at Empire Pond

The first water pumped from the Walker Recharge site made its way to the newly created Empire Pond on Friday, May 21, 2021  The pump was turned on at 2:00 pm and reached Empire Pond at 7:00 pm; traveling through approximately 1.5 miles of 52-inch pipe.  Flow rate to the pond is about 7.3 cfs. It’s a historic time for Central! Work first began on the Walker Recharge Project in the fall of 2019.

Recharge projects are efficient water supply options for Central because like well depletions, accretions to the stream occur after water has been diverted from the river, delivered into recharge ponds, and percolated into the alluvial aquifer.  This means that the accretions from recharge will coincide with the delayed effect of well pumping.  Water diverted to recharge during times of abundance in the river are effectively retimed to create increased supplies during periods of drought.  Recharge operations use the alluvial aquifer to better match water supply with water demand, thereby improving water use efficiency.

Diversions under the Project will occur during times of high streamflow, when the water would otherwise not be beneficially used.  The accretions from the recharge operations under the Project will be available for later use by Central’s constituents during times of drought.  This conjunctive management of surface water and groundwater supplies will provide Central’s members a reliable water supply in times of drought.