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A Study of the Safe Yield and Replenishment Conditions for the Yucaipa Basin Area, California


Ruiz-Elizondo, Jesús (1954) A Study of the Safe Yield and Replenishment Conditions for the Yucaipa Basin Area, California. Engineer's thesis, California Institute of Technology. doi:10.7907/3JFQ-6K26.


A ground water inventory made for a basin area of about 51 square miles and situated 6 miles southeast from Redlands, California, disclosed that a mean annual recharge of 4322.5 acre-feet from rainfall on foothill and mountain areas plus a mean annual deep penetration volume of 1693 acre-feet from water artificially applied (irrigation and domestic uses) are exceeded by local consumptive uses plus exportation losses. Detailed studies showed that no appreciable contribution from rainfall in irrigated and non-irrigated valley lands occurs to the sub-surface ground water body.

Elimination of the net basin drawdown loss caused by exportation will still put the overdraft within the order of 3000 acre-feet per year. An inevitable increase of land cultivation brings about no chance to mitigate that figure in the near future.

Increasing volumes of water extraction are shown by a mean annual drop in water level of wells, from 1.67 feet for the period 1927-1942 to 7.5 feet for the period 1942-1954.

An estimated specific yield of 0.1085 for the ground water reservoir places the time-life of Yucaipa basin within 35 years, assuming the existence of a 250 feet thick aquifer under the 400 feet deepest wells.

A depth of 650-750 feet in water wells is arbitrarily established as a limit for the economic and profitable exploitation of the basin.

A conservative figure of 5000 acre-feet plus minus 1000 acre-feet safe yield is based on the mean annual recharge to valley lands from foothill and mountain areas. This quantity is likely to be increased by additional yields from the aquifer, upon rebounding and expansion.

The low porosity value and its close specific yield (0.12 and 0.1085 respectively) associated with a rather low specific retention value, seem to indicate that the hydrological properties of the Yucaipa aquifers reflect the existence of a type of rock near to a sandy gravel, with locally abundant interstitial materials. Plio-Pleistocene(?) San Timoteo bed can well appear in Yucaipa basin at aquifer depths. Younger Quaternary fanglomerates, stream gravels, weathered soils and modern alluvium occur widely distributed in the surface area of Yucaipa. These sediments are bordered to the north, east, and southeast by hills and mountains of basement complex rocks which are probably pre-Cambrian, but most certainly pre-Cretaceous in age.

Item Type:Thesis (Engineer's thesis)
Subject Keywords:(Geological Engineering) ; groundwater, Yucaipa basin, aquifers, Crafton Hills, Mill Creek
Degree Grantor:California Institute of Technology
Division:Geological and Planetary Sciences
Major Option:Geology
Thesis Availability:Public (worldwide access)
Research Advisor(s):
  • Buwalda, John P.
Thesis Committee:
  • Unknown, Unknown
Defense Date:1 January 1954
Additional Information:Supplemental Files Information: General map of Yucaipa area: Supplement 1 from "A Study of the Safe Yield and Replenishment Conditions for the Yucaipa Basin Area, California" (Thesis).
Record Number:CaltechTHESIS:12112017-150948104
Persistent URL:
Related URLs:
URLURL TypeDescription 1 in CaltechDATA: General map of Yucaipa area
Default Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:10599
Deposited By: Benjamin Perez
Deposited On:12 Dec 2017 22:35
Last Modified:13 Jun 2023 22:48

Thesis Files

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PDF (Map) - Supplemental Material
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