Throughout California, as pressure on water resources continues to grow, water-supply agencies are looking to the state?s biggest ?reservoir? ? its ground-water basins ? for supply and storage. To better utilize that resource, the Sweetwater Authority and other local partners, including the city of San Diego and Otay Water Districts, are working with the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) to develop the first comprehensive study of the coastal ground-water resources of southern San Diego County. USGS research is providing the integrated geologic and hydrologic knowledge necessary to help effectively utilize this resource on a coordinated, regional basis.
USGS scientists are building a real-time well-monitoring network and gathering information about how the aquifers respond to different pumping and recharge-management strategies. Real-time ground-water levels are recorded every hour and are viewable on a project web site (http://ca.water.usgs.gov/sandiego/index.html). Data from the wells are helping to define the geology and hydrogeology of the area, define ground-water quality, and assess ground-water levels. The wells also are strategi-cally placed and designed to be usable by the local agencies for decades to come to help manage surface-water and ground-water operations.
Additionally, the knowledge gained from the USGS study will help local, state, and federal agencies; water purveyors; and USGS scientists to understand the effects of urbanization on the local surface-water, ground-water, and biological resources, and to better critique ideas and opportuni-ties for additional ground-water development in the San Diego area.