Researchers believe that water in the Martis Valley groundwater basin near Truckee is hundreds if not thousands of years old, and in the case of groundwater, that could be a good thing. Placer County Water Agency Senior engineer Tony Firenzi says a groundwater study and modeling project is underway. They will test 30 wells in PCWA’s zone 4 where customers are served solely by groundwater.
“We care about the age of the water because it has to do with sustainability, mostly. If the water is very old, then it gives you a sense that it’s not subject to short term and perhaps even long term climate change.”
The study will also tell them at what elevations ground water recharge is taking place, because Firenzi says those are the area’s that need to be protected. A team from Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory is joining the PCWA study. Firenzi says they have studied groundwater basins throughout the state and were interested in an alpine basin such as the Martis Valley. They hope to determine how climate change might impact the sustainability of groundwater supplies. The research will continue for one more year.