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USGS to discuss initial results of Southern California groundwater study

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

July 18, 2007

Public invited to July 25 Lakewood meeting; study focused on coastal Los Angeles and Orange counties

Scientists from the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) will discuss their initial findings from a comprehensive study of untreated well water in Southern California groundwater basins from Hollywood to Orange County at a public meeting July 25 in Lakewood, Los Angeles County, Calif.

The meeting, conducted by the State Water Resources Control Board and the USGS, is set for 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. at the Water Replenishment District of Southern California, 4040 Paramount Blvd., Lakewood. Meeting agenda, with directions to the meeting and a map of the groundwater areas studied.

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.

As part of the Statewide Assessment, samples were collected from wells in five California Department of Water Resources-defined groundwater basins – Hollywood, Santa Monica, the Central and West Coast sub-basins in Los Angeles County, and the coastal plain of Orange County.

At the meeting, 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 California Water Science Center operates project offices in Sacramento and San Diego where more than 130 scientists bring a broad range of disciplines to modern water-management issues.

More information on the GAMA program is available from the State Water Board and USGS.

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

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