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This paper presents a brief summary of a continuing program of the California Department of Water Resources for investigation of oil-field waste-disposal practices in the Central Valley of California. Basic objective of these studies is to obtain information necessary to prevent or alleviate water-pollution problems that might result from the disposal of wastes from oil-production activities. During the late 1940's, the California Legislature adopted a number of water pollution control measures, now referred to as the “Dickey Acts.” Under these acts, the state was divided into nine regions corresponding to the major drainage basins and a separate water-pollution control board established to administer water-pollution control activities within each of the regions. The legislature also directed other state agencies concerned with various aspects of water (Departments of Fish and Game, Public Health, and Water Resources) to provide technical advice and assistance to the regional boards. The area to be reported upon is under the jurisdiction of the Central Valley Regional Water Pollution Control Board. One of the first acts of this board, after it was formed in 1950, was to recognize the pollution potential involved in the disposal of oil-field brines. After several years of concerted effort, the board obtained specific authorization for the Department of Water Resources to conduct the geological and waste-disposal studies reported upon in this paper. Without the impetus provided by the Central Valley Regional Water Pollution Control Board, it is doubtful that these studies could have been completed within the same short period of time.
Morris, James M.
Senior Hydraulic Engineer, Sacramento, Calif.