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Projects : : Butte County Watershed Modeling Grant
    CALFED Rural Roads Grant

Butte County Groundwater Modeling Grant

  Butte County Watershed Modeling Grant  

This project, lead by the Butte County Department of Water and Resource Conservation, will use a physically based model to estimate the annual run-off over a range of precipitation years from the Big Chico Creek, Little Chico Creek, Butte Creek and Cherokee Creek Watersheds into the groundwater aquifer systems of Butte County.  The aquifer systems underlying Butte County have been proposed for increased pumping in order to substitute for surface water supplied to the Sacramento Valley Water Management Agreement (SVWMA).  Components of the aquifer system are theorized to underlie four counties in the northern Sacramento Valley.  It is currently understood that the aquifers surface in Butte and Tehama Counties, while dipping to a depth of over 1000 feet below Glenn and Colusa Counties. 

SVWMA parties have agreed to provide some of their surface water to improve Delta water standards. The Lower Tuscan groundwater aquifer is envisioned as one groundwater source for that program, as it is believed to be confined as it dips below the ground surface and is theorized to hold large quantities of groundwater.  The recharge estimate provided by this project will inform the inputs into the Butte Basin Groundwater Model and contribute to better management of the aquifer to protect local water supply reliability as the aquifer contributes to statewide water supply reliability needs.  It will assist water managers in protecting water users and ecosystems that are dependent on groundwater levels. 

Of particular interest is spring run Chinook salmon which have holding and spawning habitat in the surface outcropping of the Lower Tuscan formation of the groundwater aquifer system and could be subject to decreased flows and increased temperatures associated with increased groundwater pumping.

The BCWC will be partnering with the Butte County Department of Water and Resource Conservation to complete the education and outreach portion of the grant.

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