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Have you ever wondered why there's so much water in those fields at the end of the Westside Parkway?

Recharge basin collecting rainwater west of town
Posted at 10:37 AM, Feb 09, 2017
and last updated 2017-02-09 13:51:32-05

Have you ever wondered why there's so much water in those fields at the end of the Westside Parkway?

23ABC Weather Watcher Denis Mayberry sent me this beautiful picture, posted above, of all that water just sitting there on the west side of town. But why is it there? He said rumor had it, that's a recharge basin for the groundwater.

So I called CalWater, curious myself to know the answer.

Rudy Valles confirmed that is runoff from the Kern River, which is flowing naturally all the way out there on its own. That land is designated as a "recharge basin", which means all that water just sits there, slowly seeping into the ground. He said it will take weeks, or months, to permeate down into the soil, but that water will indeed help our aquifer refill a bit. He  said it's too early to tell just how much recovery we'll see, but this is a very good start.

As you heard on 23ABC News last night, state politicians voted to uphold Gov. Jerry Brown's water restriction regulations, because even though we have seen remarkable improvement in the drought, we don't know what lies ahead. And so water conservation needs to continue, because our aquifers are not yet recharged, and won't be for a while. Seeing rising levels in state reservoirs (including Lake Isabella) and a higher-than-average amount of Sierra snowpack for this time of year is a very good start. It's all sign of the impressive winter we've experienced, which has helped Kern County recover from Exceptional Drought (the highest and worst ranking) to Moderate Drought (the second to lowest ranking). To read my analysis of the latest Drought Report (released this morning) and what it means for Kern County, click here.

Ad next week's drought report might drop us down another ranking (to Abnormally Dry) thanks to the impressive, and potentially dangerous, amount of rain we are getting tomorrow. Check out the storm forecast here.

Do you have weather questions like this? Snap a pic and send it to me!

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