Edwards Air Force Base (EAFB) in southern California (fig. 1) has relied on ground water to meet its water-supply needs. The extraction of ground water has led to two major problems that can directly affect the mission of EAFB: declining water levels (more than 120 ft since the 1920s) and land subsidence, a gradual downward movement of the land surface (more than 4 ft since the late 1920s). As water levels decline, this valuable resource becomes depleted, thus requiring mitigating measures. Land subsidence has caused cracked (fissured) runways and accelerated erosion on Rogers lakebed.
In 1988, the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), in cooperation with the U.S. Air Force, began investigations of the effects of declining water levels and land subsidence at EAFB and possible mitigation measures, such as the injection of imported surface water into the ground-water system. The cooperative investigations included data collection and analyses, numerical simulations of ground-water flow and land subsidence, and development of a preliminary simulation-optimization model. The results of these investigations indicate that the injection of imported water may help to control land subsidence; however, the potential ground-water-quality impacts are unknown.
Additional publication details
USGS Numbered Series
Water Resources Investigations at Edwards Air Force Base since 1988