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Scientists launching Bay Area groundwater study

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

April 3, 2007

Project will sample raw well water; public invited to informational meeting April 6

Scientists from the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) will present their plans to study untreated well water from several groundwater basins in the San Francisco Bay Area at a meeting Friday, April 6, in San Jose, CA.

The meeting, conducted by the State Water Resources Control Board and the USGS, is set for 1 to 3 p.m. at the Santa Clara Valley Water District, 5700 Almaden Expressway, San Jose, CA. A map, agenda and other information are available at the State Water Board's Web site.

The State Water Board's Groundwater Ambient Monitoring and Assessment (GAMA) Program is partnering with the USGS to sample drinking water wells in groundwater basins in San Francisco, San Mateo, Santa Clara, Alameda and Contra Costa counties.

The sampling to be conducted by the USGS is scheduled to start this month and be finished in five to six weeks. A report on the sampling data is expected to be available in about a year.

The GAMA Statewide Basin Assessment is designed to characterize water quality in groundwater basins. GAMA 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. The goal of GAMA is to improve statewide groundwater monitoring and facilitate the availability of information about groundwater quality to the public.

Scientists from the USGS's California Water Science Center are conducting most of the testing for the GAMA program. 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/.

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.

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


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