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Denmark helps California improve its groundwater sustainability

State of Green
By State of Green, May 19, 2021

Ramboll, Skytem and Aarhus University are set to conduct airborne electromagnetic surveys in California’s high- and medium-priority groundwater basins. The Danish expertise seeks to help the drought-ridden state of California become more sustainable.

Groundwater is a critical source of water for both California farms and communities, so the State of California enacted the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act which requires local agencies in high- and medium-priority groundwater basins to develop and implement groundwater sustainability plans.

To assist local agencies as they develop these plans, the California Department of Water Resources (DWR) will conduct airborne electromagnetic surveys in California’s high- and medium-priority groundwater basins. The project will generate coarse-grid subsurface maps that provide framework information about large-scale aquifer structure. The data supports the development or refinement of hydrogeologic conceptual models as well as helps to identify possible areas for recharging groundwater.

“Statewide surveys will further our technical assistance services supporting local communities as they work to manage their groundwater supply to ensure its reliability,” said Steven Springhorn, acting deputy director of the statewide groundwater management.

“The data will give locals a better understanding of their groundwater basins and will provide a dataset that supports the overall implementation of the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act and groundwater sustainability agencies’ development of groundwater sustainability plans.”

Related news: Pioneering collaboration between American top university and Danish companies on groundwater

Local team with global knowledge
The California Department of Water Resources has selected Ramboll to lead the team conducting the surveys and interpretating the data. Along with Ramboll, the team also consists of Danish SkyTEM, which will provide the field survey. Aarhus University will further provide specialized academic expertise.

“We are proud to support the implementation of the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act by providing high-quality data. With proven technology and solid experience from similar projects, we look forward to the exciting collaboration with DWR, the groundwater sustainability agencies as well as the people in California,” says Jeff Rogers, Director, Ramboll Water in the US.

Ramboll and SkyTEM have previously conducted similar surveys in California as well as in other countries including Denmark, where the technology has been used to create detailed mapping of the country’s groundwater resources.

Related news: Danish Companies to Map Groundwater in California

Strengthening the California-Denmark collaboration
Denmark and California are sharing knowledge through the Danish Water Technology Alliance where Ramboll and SkyTEM are participating. On 9 March, earlier this year, Denmark and California took the next joint step on the way toward a more resilient, sustainable, and efficient water sector by signing a new Memorandum of Understanding.

“It is a great pleasure to hear that Danish expertise and technology will be a part of the Californian efforts related to sustainable groundwater management. In times of transition, international partnerships and knowledge sharing are essential. Therefore, we are very excited to be strengthening our collaboration with California and taking a joint step towards a climate-friendly water sector through the MoU we recently signed,” says Lone Dencker Wisborg, Ambassador of Denmark to the US.

Related news: New energy partnership between California and Denmark to go greener together

Photo by SkyTEM

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