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Scientists to discuss initial results of Western San Joaquin Valley groundwater study

Released: 3/1/2011

U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) scientists will present their initial results of a study of untreated groundwater from 58 wells sampled from March through July 2010 in portions of Stanislaus, Merced, Madera, Fresno, and Kings counties, CA. The meeting, conducted by the State Water Resources Control Board and the USGS, is set for Friday, March 4, from 1 to 3 p.m. at the Los Banos City Hall, 520 J St., Los Banos, CA.

The study was part of the State of California’s Groundwater Ambient Monitoring and Assessment (GAMA) Program Priority Basin Project. A program of the State Water Resources Control Board, GAMA (http://www.waterboards.ca.gov/gama/) has sought to improve comprehensive statewide groundwater monitoring and to increase the availability of groundwater-quality information to the public. The USGS is the lead for GAMA’s Priority Basin Project, which monitors and assesses water quality in groundwater basins that are important sources of public water supply (http://ca.water.usgs.gov/gama/ ). With the voluntary cooperation of local water agencies and well owners, USGS is testing untreated groundwater in over 2,000 wells in California from 2004 through 2011.

The Western San Joaquin Valley study unit includes the Delta-Mendota and Westside groundwater subbasins defined by the California Department of Water Resources. While scientists have not completed their full report, they will discuss some of their initial findings at the meeting. Their completed report is expected to be available early in 2012.

The GAMA Priority Basin Project is designed to characterize raw water quality in groundwater basins and aquifers. GAMA does not evaluate the quality of water delivered to consumers, since public water systems typically treat (or mix) it to meet drinking water standards.

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