The city of Los Angeles diverts most of its water from the surface of the Owens Valley into the Aqueduct system. Additionally, groundwater is pumped from wells to supplement the surface-water. Since 1970, pumping from the wells has increase to needing more supplemental water. This has caused many effects on the environment and native vegetation that surrounds the area.
The focus of my investigation is to determine what is the overall groundwater extraction (acre-feet) from all the wells that are on the valley floor. Doing my research I came across lots of graphs and charts that showed how much water has been pumped since 1971. I looked at reports that displayed overall monthly and yearly pumping which were useful information but not enough to show me how much water is being pumped from each individual pump station.
I decided to take a different approach by researching maps that indicated where the locations of the pumps were throughout the valley. I was able to find a map of where the pump stations were located. The pumps were installed starting from the city of Laws all the way down to the city of Lone Pine. There are probably about 30 or more pump stations that cover the whole Owens Valley. I did notice a relationship between the location of the pump stations and the location of the freeway on the map. Most pump stations were placed near the freeway, which made me question:
1) If they were placed there for easy access from the road?
2) Are those areas the most abundant with groundwater?
I have not been able to find the answers to those two questions but I will keep on researching.
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