Date of Graduation


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science in Environmental Dynamics (MS)

Degree Level



Environmental Dynamics


Hays, Phillip D.

Committee Member

Covington, Matthew D.

Second Committee Member

Feng, Song


drinking water, groundwater management, water quality assessment


Before making attempts to enhance and manage the quality of water, a thorough understanding of these processes is necessary since the chemical quality of groundwater is impacted by a number of linked processes. This would be more important in arid and semiarid regions like the southern part of California where more rely on groundwater for agriculture and drinking water uses than the other states. As a result, fundamental knowledge of the governing processes of groundwater chemistry is required for effective water resource management. Thus, this study is primarily concerned with three aspects in Mojave, Tulare, and San Joaquin aquifers: The first step is chemical properties of groundwater with respect to hydrogeochemical aspects and salinity. Without different managerial approaches, irrigation with poor-quality water can have a variety of adverse effects, such as increased soil salinity/sodicity, poor penetration, soil hardening, and/or plant-specific ion toxicity. Together, these variables inhibit crop growth and, eventually, a crop's economic output. Numerous indices have been proposed and are often employed in groundwater for this purpose, including Na%, SAR (sodium adsorption ratio), RSC (residual sodium carbonate), MH (magnesium hazard), PI (permeability index), and PS (potential salinity). In the second section, we go into more detail about the levels of heavy metals in groundwater and how pollution indices like HPI (heavy metal pollution index), HEI (heavy metal evaluation index), and CI (contamination index) can be used to evaluate the health risks of consuming groundwater that is overly contaminated with these heavy metals. The concentration of nitrate in the aquifers is the third factor. The multi-isotope systematics (δ15N- and δ18O-NO3) method is highlighted in this study, along with typical δ15N- and δ18O-NO3 ranges of known NO3 sources, as well as many other parameters, including the effects of pH, EC, reduction-oxidation, and other elements/ions on nitrate concentration and δ15N- and δ18O-NO3 determination. In addition, this paper covers how to map water quality indicators in the Mojave, Tulare, and San Joaquin aquifers using a GIS (geographical information system) based on water quality information system and spatial analysis with IDW (inverse distance weighted) interpolation.