Miscellaneous Monterey and San Luis Obispo County Documents and Reports



Download Full Text (2.4 MB)


Surface water‐groundwater interaction and nitrate in California Central Coast streams


This study is one in a series of special studies that address the fate and transport of nitrate in basins where groundwater is the main source of water for both irrigation and public drinking water supply under the Groundwater Ambient Monitoring and Assessment (GAMA) Program managed by the California State Water Resources Control Board.

The Salinas Valley, known as ‘the salad bowl of the world’, has been an agricultural center for more than 100 years. Irrigated row crops such as lettuce and strawberries dominate both land use and water use in the valley. The most common water quality issue that arises from this type of intensive agriculture is contamination of groundwater by nitrate from fertilizers. This study focuses on three key aspects of nitrate fate and transport in the Salinas Valley groundwater basin: 1) establishing background conditions for nitrate in a comparatively un‐impacted portion of the basin, 2) examining the fate and transport of nitrate near the recharging Salinas River, and 3) determining the source of nitrate in a highly impacted drinking water well.


California State Water Resources Control Board




Business | Education | Life Sciences | Physical Sciences and Mathematics | Social and Behavioral Sciences

Original Format


Document Type


2011 - California GAMA Special Study - Nitrate Fate and Transport in Salinas Valley - Final Report