Colusa County On-Farm, Multi-Benefit Groundwater Recharge Program
Farming for Sustainable Groundwater and the Flyway
Working in partnership with the Colusa Groundwater Authority, The Nature Conservancy is conducting an on-farm, multi-benefit program, which provides an opportunity for growers to receive financial compensation for recharging groundwater in the course of normal farming operations on a variety of crops while also providing critical “pop-up” wetland habitat in early fall when water is scarce on the landscape and shorebirds migrating along the Pacific Flyway often have nowhere to stop over on long migrations.
This on-farm recharge program requires short-term commitments from growers to irrigate and maintain shallow depths of 4” or less on enrolled fields. The program pays for field preparation, irrigation and water costs.
Site Selection Criteria
Fields will be selected based on how well they meet conditions for providing multiple benefits. We are looking for sites that are suitable for groundwater recharge and can also provide high-quality, open (non-orchard) wetland habitat suitable for bird stopovers when flooded.
The selection criteria include soil types conducive to recharge, crop types suitable for recharge, fields that can be flooded post-harvest to provide “pop-up” wetland habitat, and appropriate water sources.”