Water use and water needs in the coastal Los Angeles Basin in California have been very closely tied to the development of the region during the last 150 years. The first water wells were drilled in the mid-1800s. Currently about 40% of the water supply (9.4 m3 s-1) in the region is provided by groundwater. Other sources of water supply include reclaimed water and surface water imported from Owens Valley, the Colorado River, and northern California. Increasing groundwater use in the basin led to over-abstraction and seawater instrusion. Because of this, an important component of water management in the area has been the artificial recharge of local, imported, and reclaimed water which is spread in ponds and injected in wells to recharge the aquifer system and control seawater intrusion. The US Geological Survey (USGS) is working co-operatively with the Water Replenishment District of Southern California to evaluate the hydraulic and water-quality effects of these recharge operations and to assess the potential impacts of alternative water-management strategies, including changes in pumping and increases in the use of reclaimed water. As part of this work, the USGS has developed a geographic information system (GIS), collected water-quality and geohydrological data from new and existing wells, and developed a multi-aquifer regional groundwater flow model. Chemical and isotopic data were used to identify the age and source of recharge to groundwater throughout the study area. This information is key to understanding the fate of artificially recharged water and helps define the three-dimensional groundwater flow system. The geohydrological data, especially the geophysical and geological data collected from 11 newly installed multi-completion monitoring wells, were used to redefine the regional hydrostratigraphy. The groundwater flow model is being used to enhance the understanding of the geohydrological system and to quantitatively evaluate new water-management strategies.As part of the work aimed at evaluating the hydraulic and water-quality effects of recharge operations and to assess the potential impacts of alternative water-management strategies, the US Geological Survey (USGS), has developed a geographic information system (GIS), collected water-quality and geohydrological data from new and existing wells, and developed a multi-aquifer regional groundwater flow model. At present, the developed model is being used to enhance the understanding of the geohydrological system and to quantitatively evaluate new water-management strategies.
Additional publication details
Management of groundwater supply and water quality in the Los Angeles Basin, California
Houston, TX, United States
Larger Work Title:
The 2nd International Symposium on Assessing and Managing Health Risks from Drinking Water Contamination: Approaches and Applications