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Hydro-ecological modeling used to predict the future impacts of land use change on water resources in the Salinas River watershed.
The 1999 report prepared by Fred Watson, Lars Pierce, Mel Mulitsch, Wendi Newman, Adrian Rocha, Mark Fain and Jodiah Nelson of the Watershed Institute, describes the progress made toward the use of computer modeling to provide both understanding and predictive capability. The Salinas River watershed of over 11,000 square kilometers supports large areas of intensive agriculture production, including large areas of intensive crop production, and extensive cattle ranches supporting annual grasslands. Mainly a dry climate with limited surface water resources, the valley has a finite groundwater system. Agriculture accounts for 93.5% of the groundwater extractions that exceed recharge by 40,000-50,000 acre feet per year (1999). Also, Nitrate fertilizer has contaminated the groundwater. Lower groundwater levels have allowed seawater to intrude several miles inland. The use of computer modeling provides the ability to predict the hydrological and ecological impacts of land use change, facilitates better-informed planning, detrimental changes can be avoided, and beneficial changes can be promoted.
The Watershed Institute, California State University – Monterey Bay
Education | Life Sciences | Physical Sciences and Mathematics | Social and Behavioral Sciences
"1999 - Water Resources and Land Use Change in Salinas Valley, Watershed Institute Report No. WI-1999-01" (2017). Miscellaneous Monterey and San Luis Obispo County Documents and Reports. 18.