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Groundwater and Salinity Management

High groundwater levels can adversely impact farming and result in cracked roads and damaged foundations.  The Yuma Area Office operates 4 well fields to manage groundwater tables.  Pumped groundwater is returned to the Colorado River and included in water deliveries to Mexico, thereby preserving a like amount of water in Lake Mead.  About 20 percent of water deliveries to Mexico are groundwater pumped from the Yuma area.

Pumped groundwater has a higher level of salinity than Colorado River water.  Minute 242 of the Treaty of 1944 allows the U.S. to include pumped groundwater as part of it delivery to Mexico so long as the difference in the salinity of the delivery at the Northerly International Boundary is no more than 145 parts per million higher than the salinity of the Colorado River arriving at Imperial Dam.  This is referred to as the “salinity differential” and the Yuma Area Office ensures Treaty compliance.



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Webmaster:  Veronica Welch
Date last updated: 7/27/12 12:38 PM