Achieving Groundwater Sustainability is Hard

GRAT makes it easier

GRAT — the Groundwater Recharge Assessment Tool — gives California’s Groundwater Sustainability Agencies (GSAs) the essential insights they need to optimize their potential for groundwater recharge.

Insights from GRAT output enable GSAs to more efficiently create Groundwater Sustainability Plans (GSPs) for quick adoption and successful financing and implementation.

GRAT is the product of a partnership between Sustainable Conservation and The Earth Genome, which offer a suite of services to help you take full advantage of GRAT’s power.

What Users are Saying About GRAT

“GRAT is a great resource for districts and GSAs like mine throughout the Valley that can benefit from utilizing water for on-farm groundwater recharge. Knowing where and when to do recharge is critical, and GRAT provides the insight.” Don Cameron, Vice President and General Manager of Terranova Ranch
“GRAT is an optimization tool that we will use to identify the low hanging fruit related to basic recharge practices — dedicated basins, fallowed ground, production farmland and in-lieu. It will help identify the most cost-effective actions to improve our recharge opportunities.” Eric Averett, General Manager, Rosedale-Rio Bravo Water Storage District
“TID sees GRAT as an integral tool to employ with Groundwater Sustainability Planning to identify project and management actions. TID will also use it on a real-time basis in future years to direct surplus flows for optimum recharge.” Paul Hendrix, former Tulare Irrigation District General Manager

Optimize your GSP

Put your data and science to work with GRAT

GSAs face similar challenges in developing their GSPs — answering questions such as:

  • Where and when is recharge best done?
  • How much surface water can we capture?
  • How much of our groundwater overdraft can be addressed by increasing recharge?

GRAT is designed to help. It quickly tells you:

  • Where your most cost-effective on-farm recharge options are
  • When those options exist by week over a 20-year horizon with multiple rain-year types
  • How much water might be recharged by these options
  • Environmental and social implications of recharge options in your basin

GRAT allows you to identify and prioritize the most cost-effective on-farm recharge projects and operations, providing you with project reconnaissance and feasibility insights across unlimited scenarios.

It also provides you with easily understood results from those studies — enabling you to engage diverse stakeholders in planning for your GSP’s adoption, financing, and implementation.

How Does GRAT Work?


GRAT was developed by Sustainable Conservation and The Earth Genome in conjunction with irrigation districts, growers and agronomists. It integrates hydrologic, agronomic and geologic science with the best available data from local, state and federal sources.

Screenshot of GRAT tool crop selection
Explore recharge options in your district with the easy map-based interface.
Screenshot of GRAT tool sliders
Evaluate and prioritize thousands of potential recharge locations.
Screenshot of GRAT tool parameter settings
Run and save scenarios in minutes.
Screenshot of GRAT tool with dynamic report settings
See dynamic results reports and 20+ additional data overlays (show CASGEM groundwater levels).


Our Suite of GRAT Partnership Services

Sustainable Conservation and Earth Genome, both non-profit organizations, developed GRAT with the support of local agency and foundation funding.

Sustainable Conservation has been working with farmers and irrigation districts since 2011 on affordable, practical ways to capture floodwater on farmland.

We are seeking new partnerships with GSAs — partnerships that will allow you to apply GRAT in your local areas and successfully evaluate options for achieving Sustainable Groundwater Management Act (SGMA) goals. GRAT is ready to be applied in Central Valley locations where surface water can be diverted and distributed to potential recharge sites through canals and pipelines.

Our services to partners include:

  • Localization Setting up GRAT for your GSA
  • Data Processing your data, uploading into GRAT, and updating files
  • Defaults WAFR scenario creation support and setting tool defaults
  • Reporting Minor customization of graphs/results on request
  • Training and Support In-person tool user training and support (initial and ongoing)
  • GSP support Coordinating GRAT with your consultants
  • Grant support Support for Prop 1 funding grant application

We anticipate a timeline of 2-4 months needed to set up new GSAs on GRAT, depending on GSA data availability.

We are also committed to continued end-user engagement and are reaching out to GSAs and their members to form a GRAT user community that will help identify further functionality that would be valuable for GSAs.

Groundwater Recharge in the Media

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