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USGS to discuss initial results of Colorado River-area groundwater study

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

June 11, 2008

Pdf version of news release

Public invited to meeting in Blythe, Calif.

Scientists from the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) will discuss their initial findings from a comprehensive study of untreated well water from aquifers along the Colorado River in southeastern California at a public meeting June 17 in Blythe, Riverside County, Calif.

The meeting, conducted by the State Water Resources Control Board and the USGS, will be from 1 to 3 p.m. at the City of Blythe’s multi-purpose room, 235 N. Broadway. Directions, agenda and other information (pdf).

The Water Board’s Groundwater Ambient Monitoring and Assessment (GAMA) Program is collaborating with the USGS and Lawrence Livermore National Laboratories to monitor and assess groundwater basins across California. The main goals of GAMA are to improve comprehensive statewide groundwater monitoring and to increase the availability of groundwater quality information to the public.

With the voluntary cooperation of local water agencies and well owners, USGS is testing well water in California groundwater basins over a 10-year period.

In the fall of 2007, USGS scientists collected water-quality samples from 28 public-supply, irrigation, industrial and domestic wells in groundwater basins along the Colorado River. These included the groundwater basins of Yuma Valley, Palo Verde Valley, Palo Verde Mesa and Needles Valley in portions of San Bernardino, Riverside and Imperial counties.

At the meeting, the USGS will give an overview of the preliminary results. A full report on the sampling data is expected to be published in several months.

The GAMA Priority Basin 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 for public systems is typically treated or mixed to maintain water quality before consumers receive it.

More information on the GAMA program is available at http://www.waterboards.ca.gov/gama/
and at http://ca.water.usgs.gov/gama/.


The U.S. Geological Survey's 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. The center also has nine field offices where scientists and technicians gather hydrologic data on California's surface-water and ground-water resources.

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

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