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Technology-Based Solutions for the Environment

Preparing for El Niño: How Mitigating Contamination Risks Maximizes Remedial Outcomes

February 22, 2016

By Craig Sandefur |
Publication: Environmental Protection |

Though it is too soon to start tallying, it’s apparent that in some regions of the Pacific, El Niño storms have delivered on a promise to usher in impressive precipitation. Particularly in rain-thirsty Northern California, reservoirs are rapidly refilling and snowpack for the first time this winter is at an average of 103 percent—levels rivaling those of 2008. That’s good news, even for drought-stricken Southern California, which may in fact still have a shot at significant relief, one way or another.

Though considered by regulatory agencies as separate resources, groundwater and surface water are inextricably intertwined and essentially one resource physically connected and controlled by the hydrologic cycle, which involves the storage and movement of water from reservoirs found in the atmosphere, rivers, streams, lakes, oceans, glaciers, snowfields, and groundwater. In other words, water finds a way.