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USGS to discuss initial results of San Francisco Bay Area groundwater study

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

February 21, 2008

Pdf version

Public invited to meeting Friday in San Jose, Calif.

Scientists from the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) will discuss their initial findings from a comprehensive study of untreated well water in the San Francisco Bay Area at a public meeting Friday in San Jose, Calif.

The meeting, conducted by the State Water Resources Control Board and the USGS, will be from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Friday, February 22, at the Santa Clara Valley Water District, 5700 Almaden Expressway, San Jose, Calif. Directions, an agenda and other information are available at the State Water Board’s Web site at http://www.waterboards.ca.gov/gama/.

The Water Board’s Groundwater Ambient Monitoring and Assessment (GAMA) Program is collaborating with the USGS and Lawrence Livermore National Laboratories (LLNL) to conduct the Priority Basin Project. The project monitors and assesses groundwater basins in California based on groundwater use. 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.

USGS scientists sampled 75 public-supply, irrigation, industrial and domestic wells in San Francisco, San Mateo, Santa Clara, Alameda and Contra Costa 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 http://ca.water.usgs.gov/gama/.

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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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