Quality of Groundwater Used for Domestic Drinking-Water Supply in the Coachella Valley, 2020

Open-File Report 2022-1122
Prepared in cooperation with the California State Water Resources Control Board
By: , and 



Groundwater is the primary source of drinking water in the Coachella Valley in the desert region of southern California. Although most people in Coachella Valley are served by public drinking-water systems, about 20,000 people rely on private domestic or small-system wells (referred to herein as domestic wells). Recently, the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) found that 39 percent of the groundwater resources used by domestic wells in Coachella Valley contained arsenic, fluoride, or both constituents at concentrations greater than the maximum contaminant levels established for public drinking-water systems. Uranium, chromium, nitrate, and perchlorate were detected at moderate concentrations below maximum contaminant levels. Elevated (above background) perchlorate concentrations in some areas indicate that domestic wells may receive recharge from Colorado River water used for irrigation or aquifer replenishment. Moderate total dissolved solids (TDS) concentrations throughout the study area and the co-occurrence of high concentrations of TDS and perchlorate indicates that Colorado River water is a source of recharge in the southeastern Indio groundwater subbasin. Four volatile organic compounds were detected at low concentrations, and pesticides and per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances were not detected.

Suggested Citation

Soldavini, A.L., Harkness, J.S., Levy, Z.F., and Fram, M.S., 2023, Quality of groundwater used for domestic drinking-water supply in the Coachella Valley, 2020: U.S. Geological Survey Open-File Report 2022-1122, 6 p., https://doi.org/10.3133/ofr20221122.

ISSN: 2331-1258 (online)

Study Area

Table of Contents

  • The Coachella Valley Study Unit
  • Overview of Water Quality
  • Results: Quality of Groundwater in the Coachella Valley
  • Inorganic Constituents with Secondary Maximum Contaminant Levels
  • Other Inorganic Constituents
  • Methods for Evaluating Groundwater Quality
  • Priority Basin Assessments
  • References Cited
Publication type Report
Publication Subtype USGS Numbered Series
Title Quality of groundwater used for domestic drinking-water supply in the Coachella Valley, 2020
Series title Open-File Report
Series number 2022-1122
DOI 10.3133/ofr20221122
Year Published 2023
Language English
Publisher U.S. Geological Survey
Publisher location Reston, VA
Contributing office(s) California Water Science Center
Description Report: 6 p.; Data Release
Country United States
State California
Other Geospatial Coachella Valley
Online Only (Y/N) Y
Google Analytic Metrics Metrics page
Additional publication details