DWR continuous groundwater level measurements contains continuous time-series data from automated recorders at sites operated by the Department of Water Resources. Readings are taken at 15-minute to one-hour intervals. Some of the readings are relayed to the California Data Exchange Center. However, most of the monitoring sites are visited once every month or two, when readings are off-loaded from data recorders, then finalized and published. Wells monitored for this dataset are located within Butte, Colusa, Glenn, Mendocino, Modoc, Sacramento, San Joaquin, Shasta, Siskiyou, Solano, Sutter, Tehama, Yolo, and Yuba Counties.
Water-level measurements are the principal source of information about changes in groundwater storage and movement in a basin, and how these are affected by various forms of recharge (e.g., precipitation, seepage from streams, irrigation return) and discharge (e.g., seepage to streams, groundwater pumping).
Water-level monitoring involves "continuous" or periodic measurements. Continuous monitoring makes use of automatic water-level sensing and recording instruments that are programmed to make scheduled measurements in wells. This provides a high-resolution record of water-level fluctuations. Resulting hydrographs can accurately identify the effects of various stresses on the aquifer system and provide measurements of maximum and minimum water levels in aquifers. Continuous monitoring may be the best technique to use for monitoring fluctuations in groundwater levels during droughts and other critical periods when hydraulic stresses may change at relatively rapid rates, or when real-time data are needed for making water management decisions see usgs reference.