California Water Science Center

Management Tools For The Hydrologic Model Of Santa Clara Valley, California

Map of the Santa Clara Valley Study Area.

Map of the Santa Clara Valley Study Area.

With the recovery of water levels in the Santa Clara Valley since the mid-1960s, Santa Clara Valley Water District (herein referred to as the District) is pursuing complex water-management objectives. For example, it seeks to meet ground-water demands during drought conditions while limiting land subsidence, and to recharge water during wet periods without creating large artesian heads. In order to evaluate how these activities can be conducted most effectively, it is necessary to simulate the aquifer systems in the Santa Clara Valley in more detail, develop appropriate new or improved modeling capabilities to help analyze the ground-water flow system, and provide optimization tools for systematically evaluating alternate management strategies.

The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), in cooperation with the District, developed and calibrated a new groundwater flow model of the Santa Clara Valley (Hanson and others, 2004). The model simulates flow conditions in the Valley from 1970 to 1999. There are numerous ways in which the calibrated model can be applied to evaluate how alternative water-resource management strategies will affect water levels, streamflow, and land subsidence. In addition, there are important new features that can be added to the model, which will greatly add to its capability. Before applying the model or adding new features, however, the District seeks assistance from the USGS in running the current model and updating input data sets for the period October, 1999 through September, 2006. As part of this first phase of training and updating, the USGS and the District will develop a proposal for a second phase of work. This second phase will consider applications of the USGS model to assess water-management strategies, and development of additional modeling tools.

Map of Area


Clark, W. O., 1924, Ground water in Santa Clara Valley, California, U.S. Geological Survey Water Supply Paper 519, 209 p.

Hanson, R.T., Li, Z., and Faunt C., 2004, Documentation of the Santa Clara Valley regional ground-water/surface-water flow model, Santa Clara County, California: U.S. Geological Survey Scientific Investigations Report 2004-5231, 75 p.

Hanson, R. T., Newhouse, M. W., Wentworth, C. M., Williams, C. F., Noce, T. E., Bennett, M. J., 2002 Santa Clara Valley water district multi-aquifer monitoring-well site, Coyote Creek Outdoor Classroom, San Jose, California U.S. Geological Survey Open-File Report 2002-369, 4 p.

Newhouse, M. W., Hanson, R. T., Wentworth, C. M., Everett, Rhett R., Williams, C. F., Tinsley, J. C., Noce, T. E., Carkin, B. A., 2004. Geologic, water-chemistry, andhydrologic data from multiple-well monitoring sites and selected water-supply wells in the Santa Clara Valley, California, 1999-2003. U.S. Geological Survey Scientific Investigations Report 2004-5250, 142 p.

Project Chief: Randy Hanson
Phone: 916-278-3000

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