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USGS to discuss Sierra Nevada groundwater study

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

August 27, 2008

Public invited to informational meeting Sept. 9 in Quincy, CA

Scientists with the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) will present information on a comprehensive study of groundwater-quality in the Sierra Nevada that they are conducting this summer and fall at a meeting Sept. 9 in Plumas County.

The meeting, conducted by the State Water Resources Control Board and the USGS, is set for 1 to 3 p.m. on Tuesday, September 9, at the Quincy Community Services District, 900 Spanish Creek Road, Quincy, CA. An agenda, maps and other information are available at the State Board’s Web site.

The Sierra Regional Study is part of the State Water Resources Control Board’s Groundwater Ambient Monitoring and Assessment (GAMA) Program.

The USGS is the lead for GAMA’s Priority Basin Project, which monitors and assesses water quality in groundwater basins and selected hard-rock aquifers that are important sources of public water supply throughout California. With the voluntary cooperation of local water agencies and well owners, USGS is testing water from approximately 3,000 public-supply wells in California over a 7-year period.
The GAMA Priority Basin Project tests for hundreds of chemical constituents typically at concentrations well below regulatory levels.  GAMA tests untreated well water and 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 ensure drinking water standards are met before consumers receive it.

The Sierra Regional Study is surveying water-quality throughout the Sierra Nevada, from Kern County in the south to Plumas County in the north. Portions of 23 of the 58 counties in California are within this study unit. Sampling of wells started on June 23 and be finished by mid-October.

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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