Publication Date


Committee Chair

Ruijin Ma, Ph.D.

Committee Members

Fang Ren, Ph.D.


The Coachella Valley is a desert region located in Southern California with high temperatures and low variable rainfall. It is also an oasis due to its aquifer, which is in both the Whitewater River and Salton Sea catchment regions. The water from this aquifer is used for a variety of applications by the Coachella Valley community, but it is a finite water resource and the natural recharge in this desert region is low. If the aquifer is depleted it can collapse, which would lead to infrastructure damage and affect the local economy. This study used GIS to create models and tools to assist the Coachella Valley Economic Partnership in analyzing aspects of the water budget, and what the effect of land cover change will have. These models and tools were used for estimating infiltration, change an area of interest’s land cover classifications, and generated water depth surfaces. These outputs made it possible to create maps showing these results, and the results were visualized in 2-D and 3-D to find possible trends.


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