Surface water that seeps into the ground contributes to a watershed region’s groundwater supply. Groundwater is a valuable water resource, particularly when surface water supplies are diminished, such as California has experienced in its recent drought. Sustainable groundwater management necessitates using groundwater at levels that are not above its recharge rate over the long term.
Stanford has groundwater wells that are typically utilized to supplement surface water diversions from creeks for Stanford's non-potable irrigation water supply. The wells would also provide potable water to the campus in the event of disruption in the supply of potable water from SFPUC. The groundwater supply under Stanford lands is stable from the substantial recharge from local creeks and runoff from Stanford land of the local underlying "San Francisquito Creek Cone" (i.e., alluvial fan), and could be used at a much greater rate than it currently is, and still remain sustainable. Stanford will continue to operate its groundwater resource sustainably, withdrawing less than what is recharged natuarally over time.