“Data presentation is really an art form that is under appreciated, but this is really an excellent document that you and WSC put together. I learned a lot, which allowed me to conceptualize the information and ask a lot of questions. It’s a beautiful document.”
Board Vice Chair, Riverside Public Utilities
Groundwater management is complex—hydrogeologists often speak in hydrographs, 3-D basin cross sections, and interactive GIS maps with an exclusive language of terms and data sets. “It’s tough to effectively manage what you can’t easily talk about,” said Mike Plinksi, Engineering Manager with RPU in Southern California.
Riverside relies solely on groundwater supply to serve its customers. “We had a wealth of historical data and were collecting new data all the time,” said Plinski. In that data, Plinksi saw a basin that was over stressed with looming indicators of significant water quality and storage challenges. What was missing was a practical tool to characterize and communicate the basin needs to leaders and constituents, and thereby empower proactive and informed basin investments.
The RPU Groundwater Atlas—championed by Plinksi and delivered by WSC—translates complex data into simple visual characterizations, visually compelling graphics, and objective narratives that help educate broader audiences, ease decision making, and build alignment among elected officials.
The Atlas supports RPU’s groundwater management strategies and activities related to managing water supplies in a sustainable and resilient manner. It illustrates the current condition of the four groundwater basins RPU produces from (Bunker-Hill, Rialto-Colton, Riverside North, and Riverside South) with respect to hydrology, production, recharge, groundwater levels, and groundwater quality.
The purpose of this Groundwater Atlas is to:
- Characterize groundwater basin conditions and how they change over time.
- Provide readable and reliable data to customers, elected officials, executive management, and staff.
- Provide information and analysis to RPU staff for use in managing the City’s water supply.
RPU intends to update the GWA every two years to keep their customers, staff, and Board of Directors appraised of the groundwater conditions in the basins it relies upon to deliver safe, clean water to its customers.