Water resources and hydrology of california


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Water resources and hydrology of california

  1. 1. Water Resources and Hydrology of California Chapter Six Rediscovering the Golden State: California Geography
  2. 2. Chapter Six Vocabulary Reclamation Runoff Spanish Era Stream flow Water allocation Water delivery systems Water diversions Water pricing Watershed Water budget Water colonies Water pollution Water projects Water rights Water table William Mulholland Hydrologic cycle Inland drainage Irrigation Native Americans Peak discharge Permeable Porous Aquifer California Doctrine Drainage basin Efficiency and conservation Evapotranspiration Flood control Freshwater environments Ground water Hydraulic mining Lag time Multipurpose reservoirs Overdrafting Per capita use
  3. 3. California Hydrology <ul><li>It takes a combined knowledge of geology, geomorphology, weather and climate, and plat communities to understand California Hydrology. </li></ul>
  4. 4. California Hydrology <ul><li>Humans have a huge impact on California’s water systems. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Engineers, and chemists help to distribute water through the state for diverse uses. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Social scientists-economists, lawyers, politicians work on problems related to current and future use. </li></ul></ul>Lake Mead
  5. 5. California’s Hydrology <ul><li>Water plays a vital role in California’s natural and human landscapes. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Geographers and hydrologists work with connections and relations in California’s vast water systems. </li></ul></ul>Los Angeles Aqueduct
  6. 6. Geographers and Hydrologists <ul><li>Work with the relationships between: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Identify many different groups with interests in the water system </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Land use planners </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Policy makers </li></ul></ul>
  7. 7. Geographers and Hydrologists <ul><li>Work with the water system to: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Help the public make informed decisions about California’s water future </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Improve the quality of life and living environments for all citizens </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Educate the public </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Study an ever changing waterscape </li></ul></ul>
  8. 8. Natural Waterscapes <ul><li>Input and California’s Water Budget </li></ul><ul><ul><li>200 million acre-feet of water falls on California as precipitation </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>1 acre-foot equal to about 320,00 gallons </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>About how much one or two families use per year </li></ul></ul></ul>
  9. 9. Natural Waterscapes <ul><li>Average precipitation only about 23 inches </li></ul><ul><ul><li>79% of average for US </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>North gets more, south gets less </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>West gets more, east gets less </li></ul></ul></ul>
  10. 10. Natural Waterscapes <ul><li>80% of precipitation falls November-March </li></ul><ul><li>Mediterranean Climate! </li></ul><ul><ul><li>2/3 falls in Northern California </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>About 75 inches a year in north </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>About 10 inches a year in south </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>About 2 inches a year in deserts </li></ul></ul></ul>
  11. 11. Natural Waterscapes <ul><li>Year to year brings extreme variation. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Moisture comes from storms blown in off the Pacific Ocean </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Water flows in from Oregon </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Water from the Colorado River flows in </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>El Nino and La Nina </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Localized droughts </li></ul></ul></ul>
  12. 12. Natural Waterscapes <ul><li>More than 200 million acre-feet that is not stored is lost to evaporation or runoff. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>150 million acre-feet of all incoming water is lost to evapotranspiration </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>50 million acre-feet is lost to runoff </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>¼ of California’s water budget </li></ul></ul></ul>Santa Ana River
  13. 13. Natural Waterscapes <ul><li>1/3 of runoff is captured and used for human uses </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Only a little runs off unused </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Usually during bad storms </li></ul></ul></ul>
  14. 14. Natural Waterscapes <ul><li>Humans interfere with California’s natural hydrological cycle </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Rerouting, pumping, and distributing </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>40 million acre-feet </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>For farming, urban uses </li></ul></ul>
  15. 15. Natural Waterscapes <ul><li>Capture about 20 % of all water in California before evaporation </li></ul><ul><ul><li>½ for human uses </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>½ lost to evaporation </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>So 10% of California’s water is lost to evaporation </li></ul></ul></ul>
  16. 16. Natural Waterscapes <ul><li>Human influence has complicated an otherwise simple water budget </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Water budget: </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>A water budget states the rate of change in water stored in an area, such as a watershed, and is balanced by the rate at which water flows into and out of the area. </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>An understanding of water budgets and underlying hydrologic processes provides a foundation for effective water-resource and environmental planning and management. </li></ul></ul></ul>
  17. 17. Natural Waterscapes <ul><li>Output </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Precipitation either evaporates or is stored in the ground, snow pack, or behind barriers (human or natural.) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>What remains is runoff </li></ul></ul></ul>
  18. 18. Natural Waterscapes <ul><li>Output </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Groundwater comes back to the surface through evapotranspiration and springs </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Reemerging groundwater contributes to the base flow of many of California’s streams </li></ul></ul>Whitmore Hot Springs
  19. 19. Natural Waterscapes <ul><li>Output </li></ul><ul><ul><li>On impermeable surfaces or saturated ground: </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Excess water must evaporate or runoff </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>In California </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Fall-rain soaks in </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Spring-rain falls on saturated ground </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>slides </li></ul></ul></ul></ul></ul>La Conchita
  20. 20. Natural Waterscapes <ul><li>Output </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Snowmelt </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Captured </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Measured in the Sierra Nevada’s April 1 st </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Flood control? </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Storage measures? </li></ul></ul></ul></ul>
  21. 21. Natural Waterscapes <ul><li>Evaporation and Water Demands </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Water Deficit = total annual potential for evaporation usually exceeds actual precipitation </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Most of the year California is in a water deficit </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Except for north of San Francisco </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Surplus in the winter </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Deficit in the summer </li></ul></ul>
  22. 22. Natural Waterscapes <ul><li>Groundwater </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Fills pore spaces and saturates permeable and porous regolith, soil, and rocks scattered across about half of California </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Usually found in aquifers in valleys </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Some under the volcanic plateau in the north </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Some in granite </li></ul></ul></ul></ul>
  23. 23. Natural Waterscapes <ul><li>Groundwater </li></ul><ul><ul><li>At one time 450 large and small ground water reservoirs </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>1.3 billion acre-feet (cover the state in 13 feet of water-Lake Tahoe would cover the state with one foot if emptied) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Artesian wells and fountains were common </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Now many depleted </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>850 million acre-feet remain </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Only 17% accessible </li></ul></ul></ul>
  24. 24. Natural Waterscapes <ul><li>Groundwater </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Only about 50 large groundwater reservoirs left </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>All being used </li></ul></ul></ul>
  25. 25. Natural Waterscapes <ul><li>Groundwater </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Central Valley </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>15,000 square miles water </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Aquifers within the water table </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>400 to 4000 feet deep </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Recharged annually by runoff from rain and snow </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Take faster than it can recharge </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Take water that would recharge </li></ul></ul></ul></ul>
  26. 26. Natural Waterscapes <ul><li>Groundwater </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Last century aquifers affect by overdrafting, pollution, subsidence, and salt water intrusion </li></ul></ul>California is only one of two states left that has yet to enact a comprehensive statewide groundwater management system. Currently there are no controls over the amount drawn from underground aquifers.
  27. 27. Natural Waterscapes <ul><li>Runoff </li></ul><ul><ul><li>If water is not evaporated or stored it must runoff </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>35% of precipitation runs off into oceans or inland basins </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Variable in time and space </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>More in north than south </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>More in winter/spring </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>More in El Nino years/less La Nina </li></ul></ul></ul></ul>
  28. 28. Natural Waterscapes <ul><li>Runoff </li></ul><ul><ul><li>40% of the states runoff heads for San Francisco Bay </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Where the Sacramento and San Joaquin Rivers meet </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Sacramento River flows out of the Trinity Mtns. </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>San Joaquin River flows out of the Sierra Nevada Mtns. </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>The Delta is made up of 700 interconnected waterways. </li></ul></ul></ul></ul>Delta
  29. 29. Natural Waterscapes <ul><li>Runoff </li></ul><ul><ul><li>40% San Francisco Bay </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>40 % Northern California </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>20 % all of Southern California </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Where the population is </li></ul></ul></ul>Russian River
  30. 30. Natural Waterscapes <ul><li>Runoff </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Gauging stations </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Along all substantial waterways </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Hydrographs used to analyze stream flow patterns </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Plan and manage water storage and flood control </li></ul></ul></ul>
  31. 31. Natural Waterscapes <ul><li>Runoff </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Perennial versus intermittent </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Coastal streams-just get rainfall drainage </li></ul></ul>Intermittent stream
  32. 32. Northern and Central California Rivers and Streams <ul><li>Northern and Central California have the greatest discharge areas </li></ul>
  33. 33. Northern and Central California Rivers and Streams <ul><li>Trinity River as an example </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Drains a mix of direct rainfall and delayed snow melt </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Higher discharges from winter to spring </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Eventually flows into the Klamath River </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Klamath is the largest drainage basin in California </li></ul></ul></ul>
  34. 34. Northern and Central California Rivers and Streams <ul><li>Klamath River </li></ul><ul><li>Sacramento River </li></ul><ul><li>Eel River </li></ul><ul><li>Feather River </li></ul><ul><li>Smith River </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Eel and Smith peak winter </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Sacramento and Feather peak later, draining snow melt </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>All flowed and flooded into the Central Valley until the great flood control projects. </li></ul></ul>
  35. 35. Northern and Central California Rivers and Streams <ul><li>Kings, Tule, and Kaweah Rivers </li></ul><ul><ul><li>All drain inland </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Tulare Lake </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Was 4 times bigger </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Used to flood and connect to Buena Vista Lake </li></ul></ul></ul>
  36. 37. Rivers and Streams of Southern California <ul><li>Los Angeles River </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Very small in comparison to northern California, 1000 acre-feet at peak in winter </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Mojave River </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Drains inland and soaks into the desert </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Colorado River </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Exotic, source out of state, flows along border </li></ul></ul>
  37. 42. Rivers and Streams of Southern California <ul><li>Owens River </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Once filled Owens Lake, largest in California at one time </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Flowed past the lake and filled other desert basins </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Today: entire river redirected to Los Angeles </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Dried up Owens Lake and the river </li></ul></ul>
  38. 44. Northern versus Southern California <ul><li>Stark contrast between wet north and dry south </li></ul><ul><li>Much of Northern California’s water is stored and controlled too </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Massive state water projects </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>18% of the least accessible protected by Scenic Rivers Program </li></ul></ul>
  39. 45. Lakes <ul><li>Lake Tahoe largest </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Shared with Nevada </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Can only use about 6 surface feet </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Clear Lake </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Largest entirely in California </li></ul></ul>
  40. 47. Lakes <ul><li>Goose, Eagle, and Mono </li></ul><ul><ul><li>All large eastern lakes </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Inland basins </li></ul></ul>
  41. 48. Lakes <ul><li>Surprise Valley, Honey Lakes </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Dry inland basins </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Alkaline basins, saline sinks, playas </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Fill with water in wet years </li></ul></ul>
  42. 49. Wet and Dry Cycles <ul><li>1861-62 inundated </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Lake 60 miles across formed in the Central Valley </li></ul></ul><ul><li>March 1938 </li></ul><ul><ul><li>87 dead, 290,000 acres flooded </li></ul></ul><ul><li>1955, 1964-65, 1997, north </li></ul><ul><li>1969, 1978, 1983, and 1992 south </li></ul><ul><ul><li>California is a laboratory for the study of how a diverse variety of drainage basins respond to floods and droughts. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>How people modify drainage. </li></ul></ul>
  43. 50. How Floodwaters Accumulate <ul><li>Precipitation gradually accumulates behind natural barriers and in the soil to recharge ground water tables </li></ul><ul><ul><li>The surface becomes saturated and slowly releases water as runoff </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Runoff accumulates in channels and streams </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Peak flows are produced </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Can lag behind periods of heavy precipitation </li></ul></ul>