With the state facing one of the most severe droughts on record, recognizing groundwater as one of the state’s most important natural resource is critical.
As part of Modesto Area Partners in Science, U.S. Geological Survey hydrologist Steven Phillips will offer a presentation at Modesto Junior College entitled “Modeling Modesto’s Groundwater” where he will explain how the groundwater system works through the development of a hydrologic model of the region.
Despite the inclusion of Modesto in the event title, MJC Professor of Earth Science Noah Hughes ensures that Phillips’ presentation will apply to more than just Modesto by covering the whole basin between the Merced and Stanislaus Rivers.
“He’ll talk about the development of computer models to represent the way our groundwater system works,” said Hughes. “This tool will help answer some really important questions that are still partially unanswered.”
Phillips will also discuss managed aquifer recharge and identify potential land that could be of use for such a project. With the implementation of MAR, the region could possibly store excess surface water during wet periods in aquifers and draw on that water during dry years.
Phillips has worked with the Stanislaus and Tuolumne Rivers Groundwater Basin Association and other local entities to develop the aforementioned hydrologic model. This tool, which was developed to better grasp the effect of natural and human influence on groundwater resources, can test the feasibility of water management programs and identify best practices.
“This event will provide scientific literacy for anybody who is a voter, parent, or citizen,” said Hughes. “It will help increase awareness of groundwater as an important natural resource issue.”
The event will be held at 7:30 p.m. Dec. 5 in Sierra Hall 132 on Modesto Junior College West Campus. Although the event is available at no cost to guests, it is intended for people over 12 years of age.