The Mojave River and the Morongo ground-water basins are in the southwestern part of the Mojave Desert in southern California. Ground water from these basins supplies a major part of the water requirements for the region. The rapid and continuous population growth in this area has resulted in ever-increasing demands on local ground-water resources. The continuing collection and interpretation of ground-water data helps local water districts, military bases, and private citizens gain a better understanding of the ground-water systems and, consequently, water availability.
During 1998 the U.S. Geological Survey and other agencies made approximately 2,370 water-level measurements in the Mojave River and the Morongo ground-water basins. These data document recent conditions and changes in ground-water levels. A water-level contour map was drawn using data from 450 wells, providing coverage for most of both basins. Twenty-three hydrographs show long-term (as much as 70 years) water-level trends throughout the basins. To help show effects of late seasonal recharge along the Mojave River, 14 short-term (13 years) hydrographs were created. A water-level change map was compiled to enable comparison of 1996 and 1998 water levels.
The Mojave River and the Morongo ground-water basins had little change in water levels between 1996 and 1998 - with the exception of the areas of the Yucca Valley affected by artificial recharge. Other water-level changes were localized and reflected pumping or measurements made before seasonal recharge. Three areas of perched ground water were identified: El Mirage Lake (dry), Adelanto, and Lucerne Valley.