Mapping Groundwater Vulnerability to Nitrate and Pesticide Contamination in the Salinas Valley, Monterey County, California

by Weibo Yuan,
Joe LeClaire,
Ali Diba,
Michael Inada,
Matt Zidar,



Document Type: Proceeding Paper

Part of: North American Water and Environment Congress & Destructive Water

Abstract: This paper describes the approach and the associated investigation leading to the development of groundwater vulnerability maps for a critical water supply region in the Monterey County. The vulnerability assessment method used in this study is a modification/combination of index methods and deterministic and mechanistic simulation models implemented with the aid of Geographic Information Systems (GIS). The methods accounts for the following groups of factors—geologic, hydrologic, climatic, and agronomic in addition to the history of more than 30 years of fertilizer and pesticide use derived from land use maps. Major data sources include soil survey data, pesticide use data, land use maps, and groundwater level contours. Groundwater vulnerability is calculated in the form of indexes for the ranking/ indexing methods and nitrate/pesticide concentrations/fluxes for simulation models. Groundwater vulnerability maps were generated based on the values of the index, concentration, and flux.

Subject Headings: Groundwater pollution | Mapping | Pesticides | Salinity | Nitrates | Geographic information systems | Groundwater | Information systems | Land use | Model analysis | Simulation models | North America | California | United States

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