California Water Science Center


Filter Total Items: 90
Date published: June 12, 2019
Status: Active

Land Subsidence in California

Extensive groundwater withdrawals from aquifer systems have caused land subsidence in many California basins. Land subsidence can cause infrastructure damage, not only to buildings and roads but also to water conveyence systems. Groundwater-level and land-subsidence monitoring provide the information needed to guide mitigation efforts and management of future effects.

Date published: May 16, 2019
Status: Active

San Diego Hydrogeology

This is the first comprehensive geologic and hydrologic study for the San Diego area. This study will provide the integrated hydrogeologic knowledge necessary in this important and highly visible area of the United States and will serve as a role model for similar coastal settings throughout the world that have modest rainfall and small aquifers. Locally, results will help...

Contacts: Wesley Danskin
Date published: May 2, 2019
Status: Active

Groundwater Ambient Monitoring & Assessment (GAMA)

The Groundwater Ambient Monitoring and Assessment Program’s Priority Basin Project (GAMA-PBP) was established by the California State Water Resources Control Board (SWRCB) in response to the Ground-Water Quality Monitoring Act of 2001 (Sections 10780-10782.3 of the California Water Code). The USGS is the technical lead for the GAMA-PBP and between 2004-2012 focused on characterizing the...

Contacts: Miranda Fram
Date published: April 26, 2019
Status: Active

Regional Groundwater Availability Study of the California Coastal Basins

This study seeks to quantify water availability in the California Coastal Basins (CCBs). The CCBs vary greatly in their geologic, hydrologic, and climatic conditions; predominant water uses (agricultural, urban, or environmental); and how water availability changes in response to natural and anthropogenic stresses. Considering the complex dynamics of the CCBs and the history of managing water...

Date published: February 27, 2019
Status: Active

Groundwater Age

The age of groundwater is key in predicting which contaminants it might contain. There are many tracers and techniques that allow us to estimate the age—or mix of ages—of the groundwater we depend on as a drinking water supply. 

Date published: February 27, 2019
Status: Active

Salinas and Carmel River Basins Study

Together, the Salinas and Carmel river basins include some of the world’s most fertile agricultural lands and are internationally known for their natural beauty; ecological diversity; multi-national cultural history; and recreation opportunities such as fishing, auto racing, and golfing. The area is oftentimes referred to as the “Salad Bowl of the World” or “America’s Salad Bowl” because of...

Date published: February 27, 2019
Status: Active

Salinas and Carmel Rivers Basin Study: Paso Robles Model Update

The existing Paso Robles Basin Model (PRBM) needed to be updated and enhanced to achieve the timeline and objectives of the Salinas Carmel River Basin Study (SCRBS) for the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation (Reclamation) and local partners.

Date published: February 27, 2019
Status: Active

SGMApy: An open source platform for computing sustainability metrics and visualizing MODFLOW data

Climate change and demographic changes have underscored the need to improve effectiveness of managing valuable water resources for sustainability. In 2014, the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act (SGMA) established a framework for sustainable, local groundwater management. SGMA requires groundwater-dependent regions to halt overdraft and bring basins into balanced levels of pumping and...

Date published: February 4, 2019
Status: Completed

Using the Basin Characterization Model (BCM) to Estimate Natural Recharge in Indian Wells Valley, California

Located in the northern Mojave Desert, the Indian Wells Valley has an arid environment, receiving only 4-6 inches of precipitation annually. Like most desert areas, Indian Wells Valley communities rely mostly on groundwater for their available groundwater supply. Increases in urban and agricultural development have resulted in increased groundwater pumpage for public and agricultural use,...

Contacts: Dina Saleh
Date published: January 31, 2019
Status: Completed

Climate and Natural Resources Analysis and Planning for California's Northern Coast

The North Coast Resource Partnership (NCRP) is an innovative, stakeholder-driven collaboration among local government, Tribes, watershed groups, and interested partners in the North Coast region of California. The North Coast comprises seven counties, Tribal lands, major watersheds, and a planning area of 19,390 square miles representing 12% of California's landscape. The NCRP integrates long-...

Date published: January 30, 2019
Status: Completed

Cuyama Valley Water Availability Study

Currently, groundwater is the only source for domestic, agricultural and municipal water use in the Cuyama Valley groundwater basin in Santa Barbara County, California. Groundwater withdrawals, mainly to irrigate agricultural crops, have resulted in water-level declines of as much as 300 feet in the area since the 1940s. To plan for sustainable future use of the groundwater, the U.S....

Contacts: Claudia C Faunt
Date published: January 28, 2019
Status: Completed

Borrego Valley Groundwater Conditions

Groundwater is effectively the sole source of water supply for Borrego Valley, California. By the mid-2000s, agriculture, recreation (predominantly golf courses), municipal uses, and the Anza-Borrego Desert State Park required about four times more water than is available through natural recharge. As a result, the U.S. Geological Survey began a cooperative study of the Borrego Valley with the...