Date of Award


Degree Name

MS in Environmental Sciences and Management


Natural Resources Management


College of Agriculture, Food, and Environmental Sciences


Bwalya Malama

Advisor Department

Natural Resources Management

Advisor College

College of Agriculture, Food, and Environmental Sciences


The passage of the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act in 2014 by the State of California was the first of its kind in the State’s history to legislate the management of groundwater resources. This legislation is state-governed but locally and regionally implemented. The Sustainable Groundwater Management Act requires local water management agencies to create their own sustainable management plans for groundwater resources that meet state-defined sustainability goals 20 years after implementation. Such plans require hydrologic conceptual models that describe flow within the groundwater basin setting, predict use, and anticipate demand. The high-level detail of the hydrologic conceptual models requires the power of computer-based modeling software, like that of the integrated simulation software COMSOL Multiphysics®. In this project a hydrologic model was created for the northern limb of the San Luis Obispo Valley Aquifer located in San Luis Obispo, California. The model is informed by the most current and accessible collection of elevation, subsurface, and production well data as provided by the California Department of Water Resources and the faculty of California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo. The hydrologic model developed during this project can serve as a tool in the classroom for physics-based modeling exercises of groundwater flow and behavior for the San Luis Obispo Valley Aquifer. The model will also ultimately be shared with the City of San Luis Obispo and the County of San Luis Obispo to aid their groundwater monitoring efforts for the purpose of compliance with the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act.

Included in

Hydrology Commons