Tehachapi Water Balance Model

Tehachapi, Kern County, California, USA

About Tehachapi Water Balance Model

A 200 hundred acre Specific Plan masterplanned mixed-use 55+ community and facilities with Form-based Code.
  • Compact urban form with walkable neighborhood structure.
  • Water conservation appliances reduce potable water use by 68 Ac-ft per year.
  • Landscape and Irrigation efficiency reduces potable water use by another 215 Ac-ft/year.
  • Wastewater Reuse for Irrigation reduces potable water usage by another 213 Ac-ft/year and recharges aquifer 85 Ac-ft/year.
  • Green Infrastructure techniques including rainwater harvesting streets reduce runoff rates and need for pipes and large channels; and recharge the aquifer 17 Ac-ft/year.
Net water balance from aquifer annually is 175 Ac-ft draw minus 102 Ac-ft recharge = 73 Ac-ft. = 43 gal/cap/day


Growth demands in a water-scarce environment. Low annual rainfall combined with soils with high infiltration rates means that net post-development groundwater recharge from rainwater is limited.


Integrated green infrastructure that mandates distributed solutions that reduce overall usage, solve drainage issues, provide reuse water for irrigation water, replenish the aquifer, cost less; all in support of a compact, walkable urban form.

Project Images

Location: Tehachapi, Kern County, California, USA
Categories: Land Development Planning and Engineering
Features: 55+, Green Infrastructure, Mixed-use, Rainwater Harvesting Streets, Smart Code, Traditional Neighborhood Development
Year Started: 2016
Size: 200 Acres
Client: City of Tehachapi
Partners: Sargent Town Planning, Lisa Wise Consulting

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