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  California Water Science Center

Aquifer Storage and Recovery Program, Lancaster, California

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Problem: Long-term ground-water use in the Lancaster area of the Antelope Valley, California, has resulted in about 200 feet of water-level decline and almost 7 feet of land subsidence. These factors have lead to the recognition of the need to manage the ground-water system. Artificial recharge of imported surface water during the winter for later withdrawal during seasonal or long- term dry conditions might help meet this need; however, the feasibility and the potential effectiveness of such a program is unknown. Injection through existing or newly constructed wells is considered the best approach; the large depth to water (about 300 feet), heterogeneous alluvium, and the potential for mobilizing contaminants in the unsaturated zone limit the effectiveness of surface spreading.

Objective: To analyze land-surface elevation changes measured during 1994 injection tests; to select a suitable site for long-term injection testing and to develop networks and install equipment to monitor hydraulic and aquifer- system deformation effects of injection; and to develop a simulation/optimization model as an injection program management tool.

Approach: Changes in land-surface elevation measured during 1994 injection tests will be analyzed. Monitoring networks will be implemented to measure changes in land-surface elevation and hydraulic response to injection. A model of the aquifer system will be developed as a tool to manage the injection program.

Progress and Significant Results in FY 1999: Aquifer-test analyses were used to estimate aquifer-system properties on the basis of hydraulic responses in nested piezometers to injection. Stress/strain analyses were used to estimate elastic and inelastic skeletal storage from coupled time-series measurements of hydraulic head (from nested piezometers) and aquifer-system deformation (from a two-stage borehole extensometer). These properties and other sources of information were used in the development and calibration of a ground-water flow model. The calibrated flow model was coupled with optimization tools to create a simulation/optimization model for use in development and management of a larger-scale injection program. Draft reports have been written. The reports present data collected during the project and describe the use of microgravity for measuring water-level changes, the above analyses, and the development of the simulation/optimization model.

Plans for FY 2000: The reports will go through review and be published.

Number: CA535
Cooperating Agencies: Los Angeles County Department of Public Works (DPW), Waterworks and Sewer Maintenance Division; Antelope Valley-East Kern Water Agency
Project Chief: Steven P. Phillips
Period of Project: Complete Except Report
Team: Steven P. Phillips, Carl S. Carlson, Loren F. Metzger, James F. Howle, Michelle R. Sneed, Devin L. Galloway, Marti E. Ikehara, Kenneth W. Hudnut, Nancy King, Andrew S. Lewis

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