The effect on the regional ground-water system of southern Oahu from increased pumpage at Barbers Point shaft was estimated by a numerical ground-water model developed for the Oahu Regional Aquifer Systems Analysis (RASA) study. The RASA model was updated by revising pumping and ground-water recharge data. Pumpage data used in the new simulations were based on the allocated pumping rates for 1995 as set by the State Commission on Water Resource Management. On the basis of numerical simulation, Barbers Point shaft can sustain a withdrawal rate of 4.34 million gallons per day without adversely affecting wells in the Waianae aquifer.
From results of numerical simulations, it is estimated that, as a result of increasing pumpage in Barbers Point shaft by 2 million gallons per day above the 1995-allocated rate of 2.337 million gallons per day, regional declines in ground-water levels will be about 0.4 to 0.7 feet throughout the Waianae aquifer and about 0.8 ft at the shaft. The corresponding rise of the freshwater-saltwater interface, as a result of declines in ground-water levels, is estimated to be about 20 to 30 feet. Numerical simulation also indicates that changes in ground-water levels greater than about 0.1 feet do not extend across either the Waianae-Koolau unconformity or the south Schofield barrier.
The model-estimated position of the freshwater-saltwater interface, as a result of additional pumpage, ranges from 500 to 860 feet below sea level in the southern and northern parts of the aquifer, respectively, and about 540 feet below sea level at the shaft. On the basis of an estimate of the thickness of the transition-zone, the freshwater lens would remain about 240 feet thick below the shaft. In addition, the estimated declines in ground-water levels throughout the aquifer are small compared with the thickness of the freshwater lens and these declines would not be expected to affect the yields of other wells in terms of quantity.
Chloride concentrations in the water pumped at Barbers Point shaft were about 240 milligrams per liter in 1992. The estimated background chloride concentration is 200 to 220 milligrams per liter because of low rainfall and the contamination of recharge water from natural salt accumulation in the soil. A reduction in irrigation through 1995 is expected to reduce recharge to the aquifer from irrigation-return water and chloride concentrations associated with the irrigation water throughout the Waianae aquifer. As a result of these combined effects, chloride concentrations of water pumped from the Barbers Point shaft will likely decrease, although the length of time required for this lowering is unknown.
Additional publication details
USGS Numbered Series
Numerical Simulation of Regional Changes in Ground-Water Levels and in the Freshwater-Saltwater Interface Induced by Increased Pumpage at Barbers Point Shaft, Oahu, Hawaii