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Unformatted text preview: 1 UC Cooperative Extension, Tehama County, 1754 Walnut Street, Red Bluff, CA 96080 (530) 527-3101 2 California Department of Water Resources, Northern District, 2440 Main Street, Red Bluff, CA 96080 (530) 529-7383 GROUNDWATER LEVEL MONITORING: WHAT IS IT? HOW IS IT DONE? WHY DO IT? Allan Fulton 1 , Toccoy Dudley 2 , and Kelly Staton 2 MONITORING ESSENTIAL TO PROTECT GROUNDWATER RESOURCE The second issue of this groundwater informational series discussed Incentives for Groundwater Management illustrating an increasing reliance on groundwater in the northern Sacramento Valley and a growing need to manage the resource. The third issue explored Possible Approaches to Groundwater Management and highlighted an approach where monitoring is critical to protect and manage the groundwater resource. This issue (fourth) looks closely at the components of groundwater monitoring, specifically groundwater level monitoring. THREE COMPONENTS OF GROUNDWATER MONITORING Effective groundwater management will protect the quantity of groundwater and ensure a dependable and affordable supply of groundwater into perpetuity. It will also protect the water quality to ensure that the groundwater remains suitable for domestic, industrial, agricultural, and environmental uses and it will seek to prevent land subsidence that can damage expensive public and private infrastructure such as water conveyance and ood control facilities, and water wells. GROUNDWATER LEVEL MONITORING GIVEN PRIORITY Monitoring groundwater levels, groundwater quality, and land subsidence is expensive to implement all at once. Since implementation of groundwater management in rural areas of northern Sacramento Valley are in early stages and financial resources are limited, groundwater level monitoring usually takes priority over monitoring groundwater quality and land subsidence. Groundwater level monitoring is a direct indicator of the groundwater supply. Figure 1 highlights important benefits and reasons for monitoring groundwater levels. TECHNICAL ASPECTS OF MONITORING GROUNDWATER LEVELS There are several aspects that should be considered in the establishment of a groundwater level monitoring program. They include: 1) determination of the elevation of the ground surface at each monitoring location; 2) type of wells to be used in measuring groundwater levels; 3) the level(s) at which the monitoring wells are perforated or screened and whether they represent typical extraction wells in the area; 4) type of well-sounding device(s) to be used to measure the groundwater level; 5) areas to be monitored and the number and locations of monitoring wells; 6) monitoring frequency and time of year; and 7) record keeping....
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- Three '09