Welcome to California’s Flood-MAR Hub

A one-stop shop for people seeking information and support in developing and implementing Flood-MAR projects.

Kearney orchards recharge site studied by the UC Davis Dahlke Lab (Pasner, 2022).

Upcoming Events

FIRO-MAR Workshop on July 20th from 9am – 12pm
To register, click here
Workshop Purpose: What are we learning from this past winter that can inform or improve reservoir operations in future wet years and advance FIRO-MAR?

Hot off the Press! Read highlights from the most recent biannual Flood-MAR Network Forum Event, held November 2023. We are building out a page on this site to share the recordings of the many excellent sessions from the Forum event – coming soon!


Celebrating 5 Years of Flood-MAR! 

The Flood-MAR Network’s Coordinating Team has released a short paper reflecting on and celebrating the past five years advancing Flood-MAR efforts. Read the story of how Flood-MAR moved from being a concept held and practiced by a few to being the organizing principle of the California Governor’s Executive Order (EO) N-4-23.

This story is about managing complexity together, and how working together is the best way to overcome interconnected physical, social, and policy challenges. We look forward to many more years working together to make Flood-MAR an essential water resources management and climate adaptation strategy!

What is Flood-MAR?

Flood-MAR (Flood-Managed Aquifer Recharge) is a management strategy that uses high flood flows to spread water onto agricultural land, working landscapes, and managed natural areas to recharge aquifers, sustain riverine and groundwater-dependent ecosystems, and achieve other wide ranging benefits.





Conceptual Figure of Flood-MAR

Photo Credit: DWR




An aerial view looks toward a flooded agricultural field and a flock of birds in Butte County, California

Photo Credit: DWR

Flood-MAR strives to sustainably meet community- and environmentally-focused objectives while supplying multiple benefits to natural ecosystems, working landscapes, and California’s agriculture. 

Flood-MAR is an important climate change adaptation strategy that can help California better prepare for and manage extreme events like floods and drought. 





A drone view of floodwaters from the Sacramento River overtopping the Fremont Weir in Yolo County, California.

Photo Credit: DWR





Secretary Karen Ross, CA Department of Food and Agriculture, addresses the attendees at the 2019 Flood-MAR public forum held at California State University of Sacramento in Sacramento, California on October 28, 2019.

Photo Credit: Kelly M. Grow / DWR

Large-scale implementation of Flood-MAR depends on equitable partnerships across communities, public and private sectors at all levels.

Learn more about Flood-MAR in California Department of Water Resources’ White Paper and Research & Data Development Plan.

Flood-MAR White Paper

Photo Credit: DWR

Get involved in California’s Flood-MAR Network today!

Coachella Valley Water District’s Thomas E. Levy Groundwater Replenishment Facility (DWR, 2014).

What is the Flood-MAR Network?

The Flood-MAR Network is a collaboration among many individuals and organizations interested in promoting Flood-MAR implementation in California. This includes state, federal, tribal, regional, and local entities; nonprofits and community-based organizations; university and private researchers; private landowners; and other stakeholders.

History of the Network

In 2018, the need for greater use of Flood-MAR in California had arrived at a tipping point. The adoption of the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act was driving decision-making about how to achieve sustainable aquifer supplies. Moreover, climate change was driving an urgent need for increased flood protection and drought resilience for communities and ecosystems. 

At this confluence of needs, many professionals with expertise related to Flood-MAR in California were brought together by California Department of Water Resources (DWR) to identify knowledge gaps and needs while also providing suggestions on how to promote more widespread implementation of Flood-MAR. 

This group of people, known as the Flood-MAR Research Advisory Committee, contributed to the Research, Data and Development Plan (R&DD Plan) which outlined a wide range of recommendations in thirteen key categories considered essential for Flood-MAR implementation in California. These recommendations included changes in water governance, water management, groundwater data and analysis, water infrastructure, water rights, and water use practices. 

In addition to the recommendations outlined in the RD&D Plan, the Research Advisory Committee acknowledged that achieving widespread Flood-MAR implementation will require interdisciplinary coordination and partnership. The Flood-MAR Network was identified as one effective way to encourage information sharing and collaboration while taking important steps toward implementation. 

Attendees listen to opening remarks during the 2019 Flood-MAR Public Forum held at California State University of Sacramento (DWR, 2018). 

Network Purpose Statement

The purpose of the Flood-MAR network is to improve water availability, flood risk reduction, and groundwater recharge to sustain communities and ecosystems through Flood-MAR implementation.  Because Flood-MAR requires broad, equitable cooperation and coordination amongst multiple, diverse sectors of society and water resources management, this network is essential for creating necessary collaboration among Flood-MAR stakeholders. We want to leverage our collective expertise to share information, connect ideas, collaborate, and develop partnerships, so we can expand Flood-MAR knowledge and better support and expand project implementation.

Network Goals

Goal 1: Substantially increase groundwater storage, improve flood management, and enhance riparian and groundwater-dependent habitat in California through implementation of Flood-MAR. 

Goal 2: Position the Flood-MAR Network as a credible resource when evaluating, planning, or implementing managed aquifer recharge projects. 

Goal 3: Promote opportunities for connections and partnerships to leverage and build upon each other’s work. 

Goal 4: Facilitate sharing of information that advances Flood-MAR implementation and promotes action. 

Goal 5: Support each other as we pursue meaningful work separately and together. 

Aerial view of the Sutter ByPass, a leveed channel of the Lower Sacramento Valley Flood-Control System along the southwest portion of the Sutter Basin (DWR). 


A: Yes, check out the Projects page for examples of Flood-MAR projects throughout the state. 

A: The objectives of Flood-MAR are wide-ranging and location-dependent. Potential benefits include the following: 

  1. Flood Risk Reduction 
  2. Drought Preparedness 
  3. Aquifer Replenishment 
  4. Protection and Enhancement of Riparian and Groundwater-Dependent Ecosystems 
  5. Improvements to Community Drinking Water Supplies
  6. Subsidence Mitigation
  7. Water Quality Improvement 
  8. Working Landscape Preservation and Stewardship 
  9. Climate Change Adaptation 
  10. Recreation and Public Access 

A: It depends on several factors. Consider joining the Flood-MAR Network to collaborate with practitioners and researchers on your specific case. 

A: Check out the Flood-MAR Network’s curated list of tools and data, guidance documents, and external references by looking at the Resources page. 

Not finding what you need? Send us an email with your inquiry and we’ll see what we can do: fl[email protected]

A: The Flood-MAR Network identified in the Research and Data Development Plan the following primary research topics that are key to wide-spread adaptation of Flood-MAR:

  1. Hydrology Observation and Prediction  
  2. Reservoir Operations  
  3. Infrastructure Conveyance and Hydraulics  
  4. Crop System Suitability  
  5. Soils, Geology, and Aquifer Characterization  
  6. Water Quality
  7. Land Use Planning and Management  
  8. Recharge and Extraction Methods and Measurement
  9. Environment – Terrestrial and Riparian/Aquatic  
  10. People and Water  
  11. Economic Analysis  
  12. Local, State, and Federal Policies and Legal Considerations  
  13. Tool and Application Development  

A: Sign up to join the Network on our Get Involved page! Flood-MAR Network members are invited to join our monthly Lunch-MAR Webinars, Biennial Flood-MAR Forum, technical workshops, networking opportunities, and more.