SACRAMENTO, CALIF. — GEI Consultants, Inc., a geotechnical, environmental, water resources, and ecological science and engineering firm, has been selected by the Sonoma County Water Agency and its project partners, the city of Cotati, the city of Rohnert Park, the city of Sonoma, the Valley of the Moon Water District, and the town of Windsor, to perform a feasibility study for a groundwater banking program.

The purpose of the study is to investigate the viability of managing surface and groundwater resources for a regional program in the Sonoma Valley and Santa Rosa Plain groundwater basins. The goals of the study are to identify primary regional considerations that will frame and guide a groundwater banking program; evaluate and rank potential methods and locations for conducting groundwater recharge pilot programs; and develop detailed work plans for implementing pilot-scale programs in favorable areas.

GEI’s study will focus on the technical issues related to the hydrogeologic and engineering feasibility of various groundwater banking opportunities, taking into account institutional, legal, permitting, environmental, and financial factors. GEI’s extensive groundwater recharge and banking planning and implementation expertise includes recent projects for the Semitropic Water Storage District, North Kern Water Storage District, Mojave Water Agency, and Semitropic-Rosamond Water Bank Authority, among others. GEI recently completed successful groundwater recharge feasibility evaluations for San Joaquin and San Luis Obispo counties.

For 60 years, Sonoma County Water Agency has been working with its partners to meet the area’s water management challenges, ensuring a reliable supply to meet the diverse needs of a growing region, maintaining water quantity and quality, protecting wildlife habitat, and providing flood protection.

In addition to GEI, the project team includes Pueblo Water Resources, of Ventura, Calif., which led the planning, screening, and implementation of groundwater recharge facilities in Monterey County, Yuba City, the city of Tracy, and in the East Bay; and Layne Christensen Company of Sacramento, Calif., which provides technical assistance in implementing the Sonoma Valley groundwater management program.

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