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Title: A Calibrated Maxey-Eakin Curve for the Fenner Basin of the Eastern Mojave Desert, California

Abstract

Metropolitan Water District (MWD) of southern California and Cadiz Inc. investigated the feasibility of storing Colorado River water in groundwater aquifers of the eastern Mojave Desert as a future drought mitigation strategy. This culminated in the public release of the Cadiz Groundwater Storage and Dry-Year Supply program Draft EIR, which included pilot percolation studies, groundwater modeling, and precipitation/runoff analysis in the Fenner groundwater basin, which overlies the proposed storage site. The project proposes to store and withdrawal Colorado River water over a 50-year period, but will not exceed the natural replenishment rates of the groundwater basin. Several independent analyses were conducted to estimate the rates of natural groundwater replenishment to the Fenner Groundwater Basin, which was included in the Draft EIR. The US Geologic Survey, Water Resources Division (WRD) officially submitted comments during public review and concluded that the natural groundwater replenishment rates calculated for the Draft EIR were too high. In the WRD review, they provided a much lower recharge calculation based on a Maxey-Eakin estimation approach. This approach estimates annual precipitation over an entire basin as a function of elevation, followed by calibration against annual recharge rates. Recharge rates are estimated on the basis that some fraction ofmore » annual precipitation will recharge, and that fraction will increase with increasing elevation. This results in a hypothetical curve relating annual groundwater recharge to annual precipitation. Field validation of recharge rates is critical in order to establish credibility to any estimate. This is due to the fact that the Maxey-Eakin model is empirical. An empirical model is derived from practical experience rather than basic theory. Therefore, a validated Maxey-Eakin model in one groundwater basin does not translate to a different one. In the WRD's Maxey-Eakin model, they used a curve calibrated against three locations in western Nevada and applied it to the Fenner Basin. It is of particular importance to note that all three of the WRD's location are west of longitude 116{sup o}W, where annual precipitation is significantly lower. Therefore, The WRD's Maxey-Eakin curve was calibrated to a drier climate, and its application to the Fenner Basin lacks credibility.« less

Authors:
;
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
Lawrence Livermore National Lab., CA (US)
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE Office of Defense Programs (DP) (US)
OSTI Identifier:
793862
Report Number(s):
UCRL-ID-139030
TRN: US200302%%660
DOE Contract Number:  
W-7405-Eng-48
Resource Type:
Technical Report
Resource Relation:
Other Information: PBD: 15 May 2000
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
54 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES; AQUIFERS; CALIBRATION; CALIFORNIA; COLORADO RIVER; DESERTS; DROUGHTS; GEOLOGIC SURVEYS; GROUNDWATER RECHARGE; MITIGATION; PRECIPITATION; STORAGE; VALIDATION; WATER; WATER RESOURCES

Citation Formats

Davisson, M L, and Rose, T P. A Calibrated Maxey-Eakin Curve for the Fenner Basin of the Eastern Mojave Desert, California. United States: N. p., 2000. Web. doi:10.2172/793862.
Davisson, M L, & Rose, T P. A Calibrated Maxey-Eakin Curve for the Fenner Basin of the Eastern Mojave Desert, California. United States. doi:10.2172/793862.
Davisson, M L, and Rose, T P. Mon . "A Calibrated Maxey-Eakin Curve for the Fenner Basin of the Eastern Mojave Desert, California". United States. doi:10.2172/793862. https://www.osti.gov/servlets/purl/793862.
@article{osti_793862,
title = {A Calibrated Maxey-Eakin Curve for the Fenner Basin of the Eastern Mojave Desert, California},
author = {Davisson, M L and Rose, T P},
abstractNote = {Metropolitan Water District (MWD) of southern California and Cadiz Inc. investigated the feasibility of storing Colorado River water in groundwater aquifers of the eastern Mojave Desert as a future drought mitigation strategy. This culminated in the public release of the Cadiz Groundwater Storage and Dry-Year Supply program Draft EIR, which included pilot percolation studies, groundwater modeling, and precipitation/runoff analysis in the Fenner groundwater basin, which overlies the proposed storage site. The project proposes to store and withdrawal Colorado River water over a 50-year period, but will not exceed the natural replenishment rates of the groundwater basin. Several independent analyses were conducted to estimate the rates of natural groundwater replenishment to the Fenner Groundwater Basin, which was included in the Draft EIR. The US Geologic Survey, Water Resources Division (WRD) officially submitted comments during public review and concluded that the natural groundwater replenishment rates calculated for the Draft EIR were too high. In the WRD review, they provided a much lower recharge calculation based on a Maxey-Eakin estimation approach. This approach estimates annual precipitation over an entire basin as a function of elevation, followed by calibration against annual recharge rates. Recharge rates are estimated on the basis that some fraction of annual precipitation will recharge, and that fraction will increase with increasing elevation. This results in a hypothetical curve relating annual groundwater recharge to annual precipitation. Field validation of recharge rates is critical in order to establish credibility to any estimate. This is due to the fact that the Maxey-Eakin model is empirical. An empirical model is derived from practical experience rather than basic theory. Therefore, a validated Maxey-Eakin model in one groundwater basin does not translate to a different one. In the WRD's Maxey-Eakin model, they used a curve calibrated against three locations in western Nevada and applied it to the Fenner Basin. It is of particular importance to note that all three of the WRD's location are west of longitude 116{sup o}W, where annual precipitation is significantly lower. Therefore, The WRD's Maxey-Eakin curve was calibrated to a drier climate, and its application to the Fenner Basin lacks credibility.},
doi = {10.2172/793862},
journal = {},
number = ,
volume = ,
place = {United States},
year = {2000},
month = {5}
}

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