The field site for this research is the Harkins Slough artificial recharge pond, near Watsonville, California, U.S.A. Water is added to the pond during the winter months, percolates down into the region below the pond, is stored over a period of ~ 3 months, and is recovered through pumping at near-by recovery wells. The pond is owned and operated by the Pajaro Valley Water Management Agency (PVWMA).
What is causing the dramatic observed decrease in the infiltration rate over time? Why is not all of the stored water recovered? Where does the 'lost" water (70% of the stored water) go?
Geophysical techniques are being used and developed to provide information to hydrologists, at multiple spatial scales, about processes controlling both water quantity and water quality in the stored and recovered water. The goal of this project is to develop and demonstrate a methodology that integrates numerous forms of data to develop an improved understanding of the hydrologic system. This may, in turn, lead to improvements in the operation of the artificial recharge pond.