Azurix announces Californian water ‘bank’

International water company Azurix has purchased property in Madera County, California, in order to develop a groundwater storage project in the aquifer beneath it.

The aquifer on the property would be used to store surplus water from local, state and federal water customers during wet years and would be available for use throughout the region and state during drier years or as the market dictates.

Customers would import water and ‘bank’ it below ground in an area that could hold up to 400,000 acre feet (493,396,000m3) of water.

The Madera property is strategically located near existing state and federal canals and aqueducts and the San Joaquin River, all of which could provide a number of alternative conveyance systems to move water to and from the site.

“This project would provide a safe, environmentally friendly way for urban and agricultural users to store water when it is abundant and access it when it is needed in drier periods,” said Rebecca P. Mark, chairman and CEO of Azurix. “It also would provide a new water supply for Madera County residents and agricultural users and serve as a platform for Azurix to build its North American resource development and management business.”

“This project holds tremendous value for the community and would benefit local residents and farmers who wish to store water to meet their future needs throughout the year,” said Azurix project manager Cole Frates. “The project also would improve the environment by creating new habitat and seasonal wetlands and would be significantly less costly to manage and develop than other storage alternatives,” Frates added.

Azurix purchased the 13,600 acres (5,504 hectares) of land in the Madera area from H. D. Perrett for an undisclosed amount. The property is located 25 miles northwest of Fresno.

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