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Water resources and potential hydrologic effects of oil-shale development in the southeastern Uinta Basin, Utah and Colorado

Professional Paper 1307

By:
,

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Abstract

Normal annual precipitation varies with altitude from less than 8 inches at altitudes below 5,000 feet to more than 20 inches where altitudes exceed 9,000 feet. In areas where precipitation is less than 10 inches, streams are ephemeral. Mean annual runoff is about 28,000 acre-feet and varies from less than 0.1 to 1.6 inches. Runoff varies yearly and seasonally, and potentially evapotranspiration exceeds precipitation. The White and Green Rivers convey an average flow of 4.3 million acre-feet per year from an outside drainage of 34,000 squqre miles, more than 150 times the flow originating in the area. Total recoverable groundwater in storage is about 18 million acre-feet. Yields of individual wells and interference between wells cound limit withdrawals to about 15,000 acre-feet per year. A 400,000-barrel-per-day oil-shale industry would require a water supply of 70,000 acre-feet per year. Other sources of water supply discussed are diversion from the White River, a proposed reservoir on the White River, diversion from the White River combined with proposed off-stream storage, diversion from the Green River, and conjunctive use of ground and surface water. Leachate water from retorted-shale piles has large concentrations of sodium and sulfates, and retort waters contain much organic carbon and nutrients. Without proper disposal of these water, the natural waters of the area could be contaminated and the salinity of downstream waters in the Colorado River Basin could be increased. (USGS)

Additional Publication Details

Publication type:
Report
Publication Subtype:
USGS Numbered Series
Title:
Water resources and potential hydrologic effects of oil-shale development in the southeastern Uinta Basin, Utah and Colorado
Series title:
Professional Paper
Series number:
1307
Edition:
-
Year Published:
1984
Language:
ENGLISH
Description:
32 p.