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  California Water Science Center

Effects of Water Banking on Ground-water Flow and Quality in the Rialto-Colton Basin, San Bernardino County, CA

Project PhotoProblem: Water banking is a key factor for meeting future water - supply needs in southern California. Historically, ground-water extractions have exceeded natural recharge in southern California, resulting in declining water levels and, in some areas, water - quality degradation. Using ground-water basins for water banking during wet periods will help southern California's water - supply problems. The Rialto-Colton basin has the potential for water banking owing to its historically good quality of water and known large capacity for ground-water storage, and the local availability of imported water.

Objective: The objective of this study is to determine the effects of water banking on the local ground-water-flow system and on ground-water quality near an existing artificial-recharge site and basinwide. This will be accomplished by determining the movement and mixing of imported water at the existing artificial-recharge site within the Rialto-Colton basin, defining basinwide ground-water hydraulics and ground-water quality, and estimating the movement and mixing of artificially recharged imported water.

Relevance and Benefits: The relevance and major benefits of this study are as follows.
Obtaining a more detailed definition of the ground-water basin through compilation and analysis of existing data and collection and analysis of new data. 
Refining the hydrologic concepts with the ground-water flow model of the Rialto-Colton basin aids decisionmaking by water managers and water purveyors in the basin. 
Distribution of water has become a critical issue in the basin, and knowledge of the ground-water flow system is necessary to make informed water-management decisions.

Approach: The following tasks will be completed as part of the study:
Drill and complete eight multiple-depth wells;
Measure water levels and collect water-quality samples from project-installed and selected existing wells;
Conduct aquifer tests;
Develop a water budget; and 
Simulate basinwide ground-water flow using a mathematical model. Data collected during the project will contribute to the formulation of a conceptual model. The mathematical model will be used to verify the conceptual model and to assess the effects of artificially recharging imported water on basinwide ground-water flow and ground-water quality.

Progress and Significant Results in FY 1999:  During Federal fiscal year 1999, colleague review and author revision of the report "Numerical simulation of ground-water flow and assessment of the effects of artificial recharge in the Rialto-Colton basin, San Bernardino County, California" were completed. Resolution of supervisor review comments was begun.

Plans for FY 2000: During Federal fiscal year 2000, revisions will be completed and the report will be submittal for Director's approval.

Number: CA494
Location: San Bernardino County
Cooperating Agencies: San Bernardino Valley Municipal Water District
Project Chief: Linda R. Woolfenden
Period of Project: October 1991 through September 2000
Team: Linda R. Woolfenden, Eric Reichard, Katy Koczot

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