The extensive use of ground water for water supply within Dane County has resulted in the need for an appraisal of the area's ground-water resources. Water-resources planners and other water-oriented groups have expressed concern over ground-water level declines and reductions in streamflow that are occurring as a result of heavy pumping. Digital-computer modeling techniques were used to estimate hydrologic changes in the aquifer system that would be caused by continued development. The system was modeled as a two-aquifer system consisting of a confined sandstone aquifer overlain by a leaky unconfined aquifer and underlain by impermeable bedrock. The physical properties of the aquifer system needed for the model were approximated using aquifer-test data and well-log data and by matching observed hydrologic changes in the system with corresponding changes computed by the model. Computed hydrologic changes do not represent a serious depletion of the available ground-water supply for the foreseeable future. Maximum added regional declines in ground-water levels (drawdowns) from 1970 to 1990 were computed to be approximately 10 feet (3 metres) in the unconfined aquifer and approximately 40 feet (12 metres) in the confined aquifer. It is computed that for the same period the average annual streamflow from the upper Yahara River basin would be reduced by approximately 29 cubic feet per second (0.82 cubic metre per second). These changes are computed based on estimated development trends for the confined sandstone aquifer.
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A digital-computer model for estimating hydrologic changes in the aquifer system in Dane County, Wisconsin