Save Palo Alto’s Groundwater White Paper

Save Palo Alto’s Groundwater White Paper on “Proposed Updates to City of Palo Alto Policies Pertaining to the Pumping of Groundwater for Basement Construction” is just out. Did you know that the amount of water pumped from the area’s shallow aquifer for residential basement construction in Palo Alto is more than 50 times the amount of water stored for Palo Alto’s emergency water in the El Camino Park Reservoir?

The White Paper shows…

  • Although the pumped water is from the shallow aquifer and would require treatment to be potable (as is the case with all of our water), the shallow aquifer is connected to and recharges the deeper aquifer, the source of potable water.
  • Dewatering can have extensive (1000’s of feet from the dewatering site) localized and area wide effects
  • The current City policies regarding dewatering are severely flawed
  • There are well-established methods for basement construction in areas of high water tables that require using 5% or less of the water than is currently used in Palo Alto, and these construction methods are considerably faster (2 weeks for excavation, compared to 4 months)
  • City Staff is proposing 2016 regulations for dewatering that will not significantly minimize the amount of water that is discarded into our storm drains.

In view of the above, our White Paper proposes specific regulations that will minimize the amount of water pumped out for basement construction in 2016 and disallows discharge of groundwater into the storm drains for future years.

Click image below to download our white paper (PDF)
Click image above to download our white paper (PDF)

“Water is too precious a resource to be wasted!”