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Scientists to discuss new groundwater study

Contact: Jim Nickles, 916/278-3016, cell 916/715-2253

March 20, 2007

Project will sample raw well water in portions of Ventura and Los Angeles counties

Scientists from the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) will review their plans to study untreated well water from several groundwater basins in Ventura and Los Angeles counties at a meeting Friday, March 23, in Ventura, CA.

The meeting, conducted by the State Water Resources Control Board and the USGS, is set for 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. at the Ventura County Government Center Administration Building, 800 S. Victoria Ave., Ventura, CA. A map and an agenda are available at the State Water Board's Web site.

Under the statewide Groundwater Ambient Monitoring and Assessment (GAMA) Program, which is administered by the State Water Board, USGS will be sampling approximately 55 public and private wells in groundwater basins in Ojai Valley, Upper Ventura River Valley, Lower Ventura River Valley, Santa Clara River Valley, Pleasant Valley, Los Posas Valley, and Simi Valley in Ventura County, and in the eastern Santa Clara River Valley in Los Angeles County.

The sampling is tentatively scheduled to start March 26th and will last five to six weeks. A report on the sampling data is expected to be available in about a year.

This study is designed to characterize groundwater quality in the aquifer systems. It does not evaluate the quality of water delivered to consumers. After withdrawal from the ground, water is typically treated or mixed to maintain water quality before consumers receive it.

With the cooperation of local water agencies, the non-regulatory GAMA program is testing well water in every major groundwater basin in California over a 10-year period. GAMA was developed in response to the Groundwater Quality Monitoring Act of 2001, a public mandate to assess and monitor the quality of groundwater used as public supply for municipalities in California. The goal of the Groundwater Quality Monitoring Act is to improve statewide groundwater monitoring and facilitate the availability of information about groundwater quality to the public.

The USGS serves the nation by providing reliable scientific information to describe and understand the Earth; minimize loss of life and property from natural disasters; manage water, biological, energy, and mineral resources; and enhance and protect our quality of life.

Scientists from the USGS's California Water Science Center are leading the GAMA study. The center, based in Sacramento, has more than 130 scientists who bring a broad range of scientific disciplines to the study of modern water management issues. More information on the GAMA program is available at http://www.waterboards.ca.gov/gama/ or at http://ca.water.usgs.gov/gama/.

Links and contacts within this release are valid at the time of publication.


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