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Geologic Influences on the Quality of Groundwater Used for Domestic Supply in the Northern Sierra Nevada Foothills

Zeno F. Levy, Miranda S. Fram | May 25, 2021
Summary

Approximately 2 million California residents depend on groundwater from domestic wells for their drinking-water supply. The State of California, in collaboration with the U.S. Geological Survey, created the Groundwater Ambient Monitoring and Assessment Program Priority Basin Project (GAMA-PBP) to assess the quality of groundwater used for domestic supply throughout the state and determine regional vulnerabilities to drinking-water resources. Many rural households in the northern Sierra Nevada foothills (hereafter referred to as “the foothills”) use domestic wells that pump water from fractured-bedrock aquifers. In the foothills, complicated and varied regional bedrock geology can cause substantial variation in groundwater chemistry and quality over relatively short distances. This factsheet presents findings from the GAMA-PBP assessment that highlight influences of geologic factors on groundwater quality in the foothills.

Product Description

Approximately 2 million California residents depend on groundwater from domestic wells for their drinking-water supply. The State of California, in collaboration with the U.S. Geological Survey, created the Groundwater Ambient Monitoring and Assessment Program Priority Basin Project (GAMA-PBP) to assess the quality of groundwater used for domestic supply throughout the state and determine regional vulnerabilities to drinking-water resources. Many rural households in the northern Sierra Nevada foothills (hereafter referred to as “the foothills”) use domestic wells that pump water from fractured-bedrock aquifers. In the foothills, complicated and varied regional bedrock geology can cause substantial variation in groundwater chemistry and quality over relatively short distances. This factsheet presents findings from the GAMA-PBP assessment that highlight influences of geologic factors on groundwater quality in the foothills.

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Keywords:

drinking water, Groundwater Ambient Monitoring and Assessment (GAMA) Program, Groundwater Exchange, water quality