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Groundwater Flow Simulation

To better understand the relation between the aquifer systems and the Mojave River and to develop a management tool that could be used to estimate the effects that future stresses may have on the groundwater system, a numerical groundwater flow model of the Mojave River groundwater basin was developed (Stamos and others, 2001), in part, on the basis of a previously developed analog model (Hardt, 1971). To visualize the magnitude, spatial distribution, and timing of water-level changes in the basin through time, simulated hydraulic heads for 1931-99 were compared with simulated hydraulic heads for 1931 on an annual basis (Stamos and others, 2002).

The calibrated flow model (Stamos and others, 2001) also was used to evaluate six proposed water-management alternatives using water from the California State Water Project (SWP) during the 20-year simulation period of 2000-2019 (Stamos and others, 2002). The simulated hydraulic-head change resulting from water-management alternative 1 was compared to 1999 initial conditions . Water-management alternative 1 assumed that no SWP water was available(animation of alternative 1 ). The five remaining water-management alternatives assumed that various amounts of SWP was available for recharge and the resulting simulated hydraulic-head change from each alternative was compared to the results from water-management alternative 1. Water-management alternative 2 assumed that 30,000 acre-ft/yr of SWP was recharged to the Mojave River in the upper part of the Alto subarea (location map) (animation of alternative 2 ). Water-management alternative 3 assumed that 4,000 acre-ft/yr of SWP water was recharged to the upper part of the Alto subarea, away from the Mojave River (animation of alternative 3 ). Water-management alternative 4 assumed that 10,000 acre-ft/yr of SWP water was recharged in the Baja subarea (animation of alternative 4 ). Water-management alternative 5 assumed that 23,800 acre-ft/yr of SWP water was delivered directly to municipal water districts in lieu of pumpage in the Alto subarea (animation of alternative 5 ). Water-management alternative 6 assumed that 3,800 acre-ft/yr of SWP water was delivered directly to municipal water districts in lieu of pumpage in the Transition zone subarea (animation of alternative 6 ).