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Public to get early glimpse of Kern groundwater study

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

May 2, 2007

At Bakersfield meeting, scientists to discuss initial results of testing of raw well water

Scientists from the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) will discuss their initial findings from a comprehensive study of untreated well water in Kern County at a meeting Monday, May 7, in Bakersfield, CA.

The meeting, conducted by the State Water Resources Control Board and the USGS, is set for 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. at the Kern County Water Agency, 3200 Rio Mirada Drive, Bakersfield. A map, agenda and other information are available at the State Water Board's Web site at http://www.waterboards.ca.gov/gama/.

The State Water Board's Groundwater Ambient Monitoring and Assessment (GAMA) Program is partnering with the USGS and Lawrence Livermore National Laboratories (LLNL) to sample drinking water wells in 35 groundwater basin "study units" throughout California. The USGS is the project lead for the GAMA Statewide Basin Assessments.

The GAMA Statewide Basin Assessment Project sampled wells in groundwater basins located in the Central Valley portion of Kern County. USGS scientists will give an overview of the preliminary results. A full report on the sampling data is expected to be published later this year.

The GAMA Statewide Basin Assessment Project 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.

USGS scientists from the California Water Science Center are conducting the majority of the testing. 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/ and http://ca.water.usgs.gov/gama/.

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


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