The vulnerability of ground water to contamination in Idaho is being assessed by the ISHW/DEQ (Idaho Department of Health and Welfare, Division of Environmental Quality), using a modified version of the Environmental Protection Agency DRASTIC methods (Allers and others, 1985). The project was designed as a technique to: (1) Assign priorities for development of ground-water management and monitoring programs; (2) build support for, and public awareness of, vulnerability of ground water to contamination; (3) assist in the development of regulatory programs; and (4) provide access to technical data through the use of a GIS (geographic information system) (C. Grantham, Idaho Department of Health and Welfare, written commun., 1989). Digital representation of first-encountered water below land surface is an important element in evaluating vulnerability of ground water to contamination. Depth-to-water values were developed using existing data and computer software to construct a GIS data set to be combined with a soils data set developed by the SCS (Soul Conservation Service) and the IDHW/WQB (Idaho Department of Health and Welfare/Water Quality Bureau), and a recharge data set developed by the IDWR/RSF (idaho Department of Water Resources/Remote Sensing Facility). The USGS (U.S. Geological Survey) has developed digital depth-to-water values for eleven 1:100,00-scale quadrangles on the eastern Snake River Plain and surrounding tributary valleys.
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USGS Numbered Series
Depth to water in the western Snake River Plain and surrounding tributary valleys, southwestern Idaho and eastern Oregon, calculated using water levels from 1980 to 1988