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Water resources of the Cottonwood Wash Watershed, Ute Mountain Ute Indian Reservation, southwestern Colorado

Water-Resources Investigations Report 85-4027

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Abstract

Cottonwood Wash, near Towaoc, Colorado, is a 16-square-mile watershed with an estimated average annual precipitation influx of 14,600 acre-feet. Most of this water is consumed by evapotranspiration. Except for snowmelt in the spring months and infrequent rain storms, all flow in the wash is from springs issuing from talus, block rubble, alluvium, colluvium, and Mancos Shale. Flow is greatest during the spring months when the ground is saturated from snowmelt and least during the early fall when many springs cease flowing. Most of the water in the wash upstream from Towaoc is diverted to Cottonwood Reservoir. Springs in the wash downstream from Towaoc are distributary. Most of the water from these springs, however, seeps back into the alluvium. One of these springs supplies about 19 acre-feet of water per year to Towaoc. The cumulative flow from 17 springs and diffuse seepage was about 290 acre-feet in the 1982 water year. The quantity of recoverable water in the younger of two pediment deposits is about 2,000 to 4,000 acre-feet, depending on seasonal and yearly variations in precipitation. Estimated underflow from the wash in the 1982 water year was 740 acre-feet; estimated recharge to bedrock was 850 acre-feet. Water from block rubble and talus is suitable for most purposes; water from Mancos Shale and alluvium may contain concentrations of dissolved solids that are unacceptable for domestic use. (USGS)

Additional Publication Details

Publication type:
Report
Publication Subtype:
USGS Numbered Series
Title:
Water resources of the Cottonwood Wash Watershed, Ute Mountain Ute Indian Reservation, southwestern Colorado
Series title:
Water-Resources Investigations Report
Series number:
85-4027
Edition:
-
Year Published:
1985
Language:
ENGLISH
Publisher:
U.S. Geological Survey,
Description:
iv, 56 p. :ill., maps ;28 cm.