Keywords:coastal aquifers, Groundwater Exchange, salinity, seawater intrusion
Section 229 of the Water Code directs that the California Department of Public Works, acting by and through the State Engineer, shall "investigate...
Section 229 of the Water Code directs that the California Department of Public Works, acting by and through the State Engineer, shall "investigate conditions of the quality of all the waters within the State, including saline waters, coastal and inland, as related to all sources of pollution of whatever nature and shall report thereon to the Legislature and to the appropriate regional water pollution control board annually, and may recommend any steps which might be taken to improve or protect the quality of such waters."
In order to carry out the intent of Section 228 of the Water Code with respect to investigations of quality of ground waters within the State, it has been necessary first to compile available geologic data in order to locale and define the approximate boundaries of the more important ground water basins.
A base index map showing the principal areas of groundwater storage in the State of California has not been previously prepared. Such a map has been complied for this report in order to establish a uniform name and numbering system for groundwater basins, which can be expanded as new areas of ground water storage are identified, or as it is found necessary to divide the larger areas into subbasins. It will serve as a basis for the planning of future investigations of the groundwater resources of California.
This report identifies alluvial or valley fill areas which contain the principal groundwater resources in California. However, the report is necessarily not complete because of lack of information for many areas of the state.
In general, the areas of groundwater storage indentified include: (a) the major alluvium-filled areas of known groundwater storage and extraction; (b) the extensive areas of alluvial-fill in the Colorado, Mojave, and Basin and Range desert areas which may contain usable groundwater, though little is known of their storage capacity or recharge; and (c) some of the smaller alluvium-filled areas which may furnish a portion of local domestic, irrigation, municipal, and industrial water supplies.
This study describes the complex geology of the northern Sacramento Valley, focusing on the Late Cenozoic geologic formations and structures that compose or...
This study describes the complex geology of the northern Sacramento Valley, focusing on the Late Cenozoic geologic formations and structures that compose or influence the valley’s fresh groundwater aquifer formations. The California Department of Water Resources (DWR) acquired geologic data from groundwater observation well drilling operations that were conducted in the valley over the last 15 years. Using the observation well drilling data, DWR evaluated and classified the lithology of the subsurface sediments, implemented petrographic sand provenance analyses on lithologic sediment samples, and reviewed associated geophysical logs from each bore hole. In addition, DWR conducted an extensive literature review of published and unpublished data and then integrated the data to produce this geologic report, map, and cross sections that describe the geology of the northern Sacramento Valley.
Results from the lithologic logging, petrographic analyses, and data review show that the heterogeneous sediments of the northern Sacramento Valley’s most productive groundwater-bearing geologic formations, the Tehama Formation and the Tuscan Formation, intermix in the subsurface in various areas near the center of the valley. The results also show that toward the westward and eastward extents of the valley, the sediments of the formations become more unified in composition due to the proximity of their respective sediment source areas. However, because of the depositional environment of the geologic formations, sediment sizes within the formations can be discontinuous and intermittent in places, resulting in variable groundwater aquifer zones within the geologic formations.
Additional data are needed to further define the northern Sacramento Valley aquifer system. Drilling and installing groundwater observation wells in areas of little or no data can provide the information needed to determine the extent and variability of the valley’s groundwater aquifers.
Groundwater level data supplied by the observation wells can provide valuable information for monitoring aquifer conditions, for determining the change in groundwater levels over time, and for assessing the ability of groundwater to move through the geologic aquifer sediments. In addition, a textural analysis of formational sediments using lithologic cuttings and/or driller’s well logs could be performed to better identify aquifer production zones.
In summary, the geology of the northern Sacramento Valley is diverse and has a widely varied historical sequence of earth-shaping events. It includes periods of time when much of the area was below sea level, multiple and distinct periods of volcanic activity, several periods of mountain building, and intermingled periods of massive erosion and deposition. Analyses of the data illustrate the heterogeneity of the groundwater-bearing geologic formations in the subsurface, and the intermixing of formational sediments toward the center of the northern Sacramento Valley, resulting in a region with great geologic and hydrogeologic complexity.
Conjunctive management or conjunctive use refers to the coordinated and planned use and management of both surface water and groundwater resources to maximize...
Conjunctive management or conjunctive use refers to the coordinated and planned use and management of both surface water and groundwater resources to maximize the availability and reliability of water supplies in a region to meet various management objectives. Surface water and groundwater resources typically differ significantly in their availability, quality, management needs, and development and use costs. Managing both resources together, rather than in isolation, allows water managers to use the advantages of both resources for maximum benefit. Conjunctive management thus involves the efficient use of both resources through the planned and managed operation of a groundwater basin and a surface water storage system combined through a coordinated conveyance infrastructure.
Water is stored in the groundwater basin that is planned to be used later by intentionally recharging the basin when excess water supply is available, for example, during years of above-average surface water supply or through the use of recycled water. The necessity and benefit of conjunctive water management are apparent when surface water and groundwater are hydraulically connected. Well-planned conjunctive management that prevents groundwater depletion by maintaining baseflow to streams and support for ecosystem services not only increases the reliability and the overall amount of water supply in a region, but also provides other benefits such as flood management, environmental water use, and water quality improvement.
A new era for California’s groundwater began in September 2014 with the passage of the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act (SGMA). SGMA established a...
A new era for California’s groundwater began in September 2014 with the passage of the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act (SGMA). SGMA established a path for the sustainable management of groundwater through the formation of locally organized groundwater sustainability agencies and locally developed groundwater sustainability plans.
The purpose of this interim update is to provide up-to-date information on groundwater basins subject to critical conditions of overdraft, groundwater basin boundaries, and basin prioritization. That information is essential to the successful implementation of SGMA, including the timely formation of groundwater sustainability agencies and the development of groundwater sustainability plans.