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Main San Gabriel Basin

Physical Description


The Main San Gabriel Basin lies in eastern Los Angeles County, California. The hydrologic basin or watershed coincides with a portion of the upper San Gabriel River watershed, and the aquifer or groundwater basin underlies most of the San Gabriel Valley.

The groundwater basin is bounded by the San Gabriel Mountains to the north, San Jose Hills to the east, Puente Hills to the south, and by a series of hills and the Raymond Fault to the west. The watershed is drained by the San Gabriel River and Rio Hondo, a tributary of the Los Angeles River.

Principal water-bearing formations of the basin are unconsolidated and semi-consolidated sediments which range in size from coarse gravel to fine-grained sands. The major sources of natural recharge are infiltration of rainfall on the valley floor and percolation of runoff from the adjacent mountains. The basin also receives imported water and return flow from applied water.

Surface area of the groundwater basin is approximately 167 square miles. The fresh water storage capacity of the basin is estimated to be about 8.6 million acre-feet.

The physical groundwater basin is divided into two main parts, the Main Basin and the Puente Subbasin. The Puente Subbasin, lying in the southeast portion of the map above, is tributary to the Main Basin and hydraulically connected to it, with no barriers to groundwater movement. It is, however, not within the legal jurisdiction of Main San Gabriel Basin Watermaster, and is thus considered a separate entity for management purposes. 

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