The Solution: About Recharge Fresno
Recharge Fresno is the City of Fresno’s program to improve the pipelines and water system facilities that will capture, treat and deliver water to Fresno homes and businesses, including surface water from the Sierra Nevada Mountains. Recharge Fresno is underway to ensure that during normal and wet years, we are able to capture surface water supplies for Fresno, enabling us to replenish our depleted groundwater and save water for drought years.
Recharge Fresno will:
- Ensure a reliable and sustainable water supply for Fresno’s present and future prosperity by increasing available water supply
- Bring new, treated surface water from the Sierra Nevada Mountains to our community
- Improve natural and intentional groundwater recharge
- Maintain focus on conservation and its role in ensuring a sustainable water supply for Fresno
- Ensure a safe and reliable water supply 24/7/365
Maximizing the existing allocations to Sierra Nevada Mountain surface water will meet future water needs and replenish groundwater.
The Recharge Fresno Program is designed to achieve a balanced water “portfolio” that includes groundwater, surface water, water conservation and recycled water.
- Groundwater – Implementing the projects in the Recharge Fresno Program will significantly reduce the City’s reliance on groundwater. The reduction in groundwater pumping will allow for recharging and restoration of our depleting aquifer and will bring the City of Fresno into accordance with the new law, the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act.
- Surface Water – The Recharge Fresno Program is founded on the concept of maximizing use of existing allocations to surface water during normal and wet years in order to serve residents and replenish the aquifer. During normal years, the City has had access to surface water but cannot use all of its allocations because the City lacks the necessary pipelines and treatment facilities. The City of Fresno’s plan, Recharge Fresno, includes a new water treatment facility and recharge basins that would maximize use of surface water allocations and produce enough treated surface water to account for more than half of Fresno’s average annual water supply.
- Water Conservation – Conservation is an effective way to offset water demands and thus reduce reliance on depleting groundwater supplies. For decades, the City of Fresno has been a leader in water conservation and has actively promoted activities to reduce water demands throughout the community. Through several years of severe drought, residents have worked hard to conserve. Over the past five years, the City of Fresno’s Water Conservation Program resulted in a decline in average daily water usage from 329 gallons per person per day to less than 250 gallons. In 2015 alone, in the midst of State-mandated water restrictions, water use throughout the City was reduced by 26 percent in comparison to the prior year.
- Recycled Water – Recycled water is currently produced and used in small amounts within select areas of the City. Increasing use of recycled water for landscape, irrigation and other non-potable uses is an important component of the City’s water supply plan. In an effort to reduce demands on both groundwater and surface water supplies, the City has plans for using 25,000 acre-feet per year of recycled water. The new tertiary treatment facility and pump station under construction at the Fresno-Clovis Regional Water Reclamation Facility will pump water into a new network of recycled water pipelines that will convey recycled water across the City for non-potable use at open spaces, parks, street medians, golf courses, and groundwater recharge facilities. Initial phases of this system will be in operation by December 2016.