Watershed Science and Policy in the Sierra Foothills: Surface & Groundwater Connection

July 9, 2019 @ 5:30 pm – 8:00 pm
Rood Center Board Chambers
950 Maidu Ave.
Nevada City

From 2015 to 2016 the United States Geological Survey (USGS) sampled groundwater used for domestic drinking water supply in the Yuba and Bear River watersheds as part of the State Water Board’s Groundwater Ambient Monitoring and Assessment (GAMA) program.

Overall, the study found that water used by domestic well owners is of high quality, with only 4% of the sampled groundwater’s exceeding health-based thresholds. Coliform bacteria were detected in 22% of the resource and may be linked to groundwater recharge from surface water sources. Other important results include findings that that regional groundwater levels are declining with increases in rural population, groundwater recharge is rapid and occurs close to the wellhead, and that surface waters diverted for human use can be an important source of recharge during drought.

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In this public presentation, lead USGS project scientist, Dr. Zeno Levy, will briefly summarize the results of the overall water quality assessment and then present novel findings illuminating the role of regional surface water development on potential future water quantity and quality vulnerabilities in the study region.