GRA SF Bay: Isotopic Hydrology: New Approaches to Sustainable Water Management

February 19, 2020 @ 5:30 pm – 8:30 pm
Scott's Seafood Bar and Grill
2 Broadway Oakland
California 94607

Amanda Deinhart, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory


Water is a valuable resource in California, under pressure from population growth, poor historical management and climate change. Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory has been developing state-of-the-art analytical techniques for several decades, to support science-based water resource management in California. The Isotope Hydrology group at LLNL uses naturally occurring isotopes in the environment to trace the origin and movement of water throughout the hydrological cycle, from precipitation, through surface runoff and evaporation, to the flow of surface water and groundwater. Combining stable isotopes of water (deuterium and oxygen-18) with cosmogenic isotopes (tritium, sulfur-35 and sodium-22) and noble gasses, hydrologists at LLNL can determine the source of water, recharge rates and flow paths. Groundwater dating with the tritium-helium method is useful for evaluating contamination risks and origins. LLNL is continuously developing new techniques to answer other challenging questions that stakeholders need to make informed decisions. In this lecture, Ms. Deinhart will give case examples of how LLNL techniques have addressed water resources questions in California.

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