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GAMA - Groundwater Ambient Monitoring and Assessment Program

Frequently Asked Questions

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What is the difference between the GeoTracker GAMA and GeoTracker?

The GeoTracker GAMA information system provides data, information, and tools to help the public and decision makers assess ambient groundwater quality. GeoTracker is a publically accessible system that provides access to environmental data that supports management of cleanup and permitted sites.  Additional information regarding GeoTracker can be found on the GeoTracker FAQ page.

Can we get access to lithologic and well construction data for wells listed on GeoTracker GAMA?

Boring logs containing well construction and lithologic data are currently available for environmental monitoring wells and can be found on the left side of the map in the “Reports and Well Logs" dropdown menu.

What projection is the latitude and longitude on GeoTracker GAMA ?

GeoTracker GAMA interfaces with Google Maps which uses the World Geodetic System of 1984 (WGS 84) datum. The State Water Board displays environmental data from regulated sites that are surveyed relative to the North American Datum of 1983 (NAD 83). The survey datum is generally not included with datasets displayed on GeoTracker GAMA and therefore exact projections of the data points may vary.

Are exact well locations displayed on the map?

In general, exact well locations are shown for the “Monitoring Wells”, “DWR” and “USGS-NWIS” datasets. Any member of the public may now request a password to access actual (reported) locations of Public Water System groundwater wells. Other datasets displayed on GeoTracker GAMA are shown within one-half to one mile of their actual locations.

Can you define “Feet BGS” and “Feet MSL”?

Feet below ground surface (BGS) refers to a measurement taken from the ground surface. Feet above/below mean sea level (MSL) refers to the elevation of a point above/below sea level.

What is the difference between “Depth to water “and “Groundwater elevation”?

Depth to water is a measurement from the top of the well casing to the top of the water table in the well casing. Groundwater elevation is the elevation of the water table measured in the well casing in feet above or below MSL. The groundwater elevation can be calculated by subtracting the depth to water from the top of the well casing elevation or ground surface elevation around the well casing.

Is there a library for the chemical acronyms?

For a complete list of chemicals and their associated acronyms please visit our list of comparison concentrations.

Is there a key that contains data qualifiers?

Data qualifiers are specific to each individual laboratory and are usually included on each laboratory report. The GeoTracker GAMA information system does not display analytical data reports; however, general data qualifier descriptions are available using the GeoTracker search tool.

Is it possible to extract “Depth-to-Water” and “Groundwater Elevation” data
  from multiple well sites at once?

Depth to water and groundwater elevation data is available as a complete statewide download for DWR groundwater data from the GAMA data download page.

Are additional maps layers available?

There are several GIS layers available in the system which are located in the "Filters/Data Export" tab. When selecting a GIS layer in this tab, it will limit your query to results only in that GIS layer. You can turn on additional map layers by accessing a list in the "Map Coverages" tab.

Can I download map layers shown on GeoTracker GAMA as shapefiles?

Currently, shapefiles are available for download on the GAMA data download page.

  • Private Well Owners - For frequently asked questions visit our dedicated page for Well Owners.

Contact Information

envelope Keep up-to-date on State Water Board GAMA activities. Subscribe to the "Groundwater Ambient Monitoring & Assessment (GAMA)" email list (in the "Water Quality" section).

Questions or Comments?

Email us at GAMA@waterboards.ca.gov or call (916) 341-5577

Groundwater Ambient Monitoring & Assessment Program
State Water Resources Control Board/Division of Water Quality
1001 I Street, 15th Floor
Sacramento, CA 95814
Fax: (916) 341-5463