Identifying sources of recharge to shallow aquifers using a groundwater model
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The poor water quality of sub-surface drainage, hereafter drainage, water generated in the western San Joaquin Valley in California creates management challenges for farmers and water managers. Elevated concentrations of salt and trace elements in agricultural drainage limit the disposal options. In this constrained environment, determining the original source of drainage water is a crucial step in developing appropriate drainage management policies. Numerical modeling results of near-surface water-table fluctuations indicate that the substantial groundwater rise observed in the vicinity of the region's major water supply canal could not be attributed solely to seepage from overlying irrigated fields. An inverse solution approach is used herein to test the theory that seepage from the canal itself and/or that from surface water retention ponds (designed to protect the structure from flash floods) is responsible for an accentuated groundwater mound. The results suggest that canal seepage is the more likely source of non-agricultural aquifer recharge.
Agricultural Water Management