Water-level predictions for Indian Wells Valley ground-water basin, California, 1978

Open-File Report 79-254


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Ground-water pumpage in Indian Wells Valley, virtually a closed basin in the Mojave Desert of southern California, has increased gradually since 1945 and presently exceeds the long-term mean annual recharge (perennial supply). In order to aid in the understanding and management of the ground-water basin, a digital ground-water model was constructed by the U.S. Geological Survey. Since the original development of this model, conditions in the basin, including areal distribution and rates of ground-water pumpage, have changed. The results of simulation for the period 1969-76 constitute a second verification of the original model. Calculated heads for 1976 agree with the observed heads, indicating a good calibration of the original model. A predictive simulation for the period 1977-2020 used pumpage values increasing from about 15,500 acre-feet per year to about 26,000 acre-feet per year. The pumpage used in this report reflects a slightly slower growth rate and a more concentrated pattern of development than that investigated when the model was originally developed. The effects of this pattern of pumpage are reflected in the water levels simulated by the model. Predicted drawdowns for 1983 are less extensive but locally more severe than those predicted earlier. The reversal of the hydraulic gradient between China Lake playa and the city of Ridgecrest, as produced by these drawdowns by the year 2020, suggests that the water-quality effects of such drawdowns should be investigated, as this could result in inferior water from the China Lake playa area flowing southward into areas of withdrawal. (Woodard-USGS)

Additional publication details

Publication type Report
Publication Subtype USGS Numbered Series
Title Water-level predictions for Indian Wells Valley ground-water basin, California, 1978
Series title Open-File Report
Series number 79-254
DOI 10.3133/ofr79254
Edition -
Year Published 1979
Language ENGLISH
Publisher U.S. Geological Survey,
Description iv, 26 p. :maps ;27 cm.
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