OXNARD : Well to Hold Water for Emergency Use

As part of a new program to save excess water for droughts or natural disasters, Oxnard has begun drilling a large well that will be able to store millions of gallons of water underground.

The well, near Wal-Mart next to the Ventura Freeway, is part of a city plan to funnel water into the ground water basin during the winter to use in peak summer periods or during emergencies. The new well could swallow up to 4,000 gallons of water a minute.

As part of an agreement with the Calleguas Water District, Oxnard purchases excess water during the winter at a discount and saves it for future use.

"During the summertime, there is high water use," said Stephen Tanner, the project engineer for Fugro West Inc., which is drilling the well. "However, during the wintertime, there isn't high demand."

The new well, Oxnard's third, is part of the city's Blending Station Expansion Facility, which will allow storage of up to 10,000 acre-feet of water a year.

An acre-foot is enough to cover a one-acre field with a foot of water, or about 326,000 gallons.

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