How California can capture stormwater to fight off the drought

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With atmospheric rivers drenching the US west coast, researchers are testing methods to capture as much stormwater as possible to replenish depleted aquifers

Environment



6 January 2023

A vehicle travels along a flooded street after "atmospheric river" rainstorms slammed northern California, in the town of Aptos, U.S., January 5, 2023. REUTERS/Carlos Barria - RC2NKY9IYPEG

A street in northern California flooded after atmospheric river rainstorms hit the state in January 2023

Reuters / Carlos Barria

Swaths of California have seen atmospheric rivers dump heavy rains since the end of December, with storms forecast to bring 20 trillion gallons more over the next two weeks. The deluge is a problem – severe flooding has wreaked havoc on the San Francisco Bay Area and led to at least 6 deaths.

But it could also offer some respite to a state in the throes of a severe water crisis driven by megadrought and overuse. …



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