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Ground-water quality in the Santa Rita, Buellton, and Los Olivos hydrologic subareas of the Santa Ynez River basin, Santa Barbara County, California

Water-Resources Investigations Report 84-4131

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Abstract

Groundwater quality in the upper Santa Ynez River Valley in Santa Barbara County has degraded due to both natural and anthropogenic causes. The semiarid climate and uneven distribution of rainfall has limited freshwater recharge and caused salt buildup in water supplies. Tertiary rocks supply mineralized water. Agricultural activities (irrigation return flow containing fertilizers and pesticides, cultivation, feedlot waste disposal) are a primary cause of water quality degradation. Urban development, which also causes water quality degradation (introduced contaminants, wastewater disposal, septic system discharge, and land fill disposal of waste), has imposed stricter requirements on water supply quality. A well network was designed to monitor changes in groundwater quality related to anthropogenic activities. Information from this network may aid in efficient management of the groundwater basins as public water supplies, centered around three basic goals. First is to increase freshwater recharge to the basins by conjunctive surface/groundwater use and surface-spreading techniques. Second is to optimize groundwater discharge by efficient timing and spacing of pumping. Third is to control and reduce sources of groundwater contamination by regulating wastewater quality and distribution and, preferably, by exporting wastewaters from the basin. (USGS)

Additional Publication Details

Publication type:
Report
Publication Subtype:
USGS Numbered Series
Title:
Ground-water quality in the Santa Rita, Buellton, and Los Olivos hydrologic subareas of the Santa Ynez River basin, Santa Barbara County, California
Series title:
Water-Resources Investigations Report
Series number:
84-4131
Edition:
-
Year Published:
1985
Language:
ENGLISH
Publisher:
U.S. Geological Survey,
Description:
v, 75 p. :ill., maps ;28 cm.