In this 9 part video series, Dr Hoaglund discusses general water chemistry and what it indicates about the water’s origins, also known as its provenance. He then provides a perspective on water sources for Southern California, and the issues surrounding water management.
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Southern California water is supplied from three main sources, the aqueducts, groundwater, and desalination. The groundwater resource is comprised of “runoff” from the mountains, as well as aqueduct water that is “artificially recharged” into the groundwater system in spreading basins, constructed within the river channels and overflow banks. Desalination is used to treat waste water into freshwater, which is then put into the groundwater system to form “seawater barriers,” raising fresh groundwater levels in a “groundwater mound” that inhibits “saltwater encroachment” from the ocean. All of the deliveries of water and its management requires energy. Desalination of seawater has become energetically competitive with aqueduct pumping energy, enough to be cost competitive. As a result, ocean desalination is becoming an increasing supplier of southern California’s potable water needs.