The Use of Geographic Information Systems and Models on Personal Computer and Workstation Platforms, in the Development of a Wellhead Protection Program, Salinas Valley, California

by Philip Hall, Earthware of California, Laguna Niguel, United States,
Matthew Zidar, Earthware of California, Laguna Niguel, United States,

Document Type: Proceeding Paper

Part of: Engineering Hydrology


The Salinas Valley is located on California's Central Coast. The ground water basin supports 850,000,000 M2 of irrigated crops which have a market value of $1.4 billion per year. Agriculture is the mainstay of the local economy but high nitrate levels are causing problems in many of the municipal wells in the valley. Most of the valley's small towns and cities have populations less than 10,000. Salinas, the exception, has a population of 110,000 and all are dependent on wells for water supply. Several public supply wells have been closed because of high nitrate levels while other wells could be contaminated by leaks and spills from underground storage tanks. A pilot project, cosponsored by the Monterey County Water Resources Agency (MCWRA) and the US Environmental Protection Agency focused on King City where two municipal wells had already been closed due to high nitrate levels. The area is susceptible to both urban point-source contaminants and agricultural non-point source pollution from fertilizers and pesticides. The project was designed to demonstrate cost-effective microcomputer technology for groundwater data management, data analysis and the delineation of wellhead protection zones. The data was designed to be transported to a UNIX platform (IBM RS 6000) and integrated with the County's G.I.S. system, Arc/Info.

Subject Headings: Geographic information systems | Information systems | Computer models | Municipal water | Computer software | Salinity | Groundwater management | Groundwater pollution | California | United States

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