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A digital computer program using finite-difference techniques simulates an intensively pumped, multilayered basalt-aquifer system near Odessa. The aquifers now developed are in the upper 1,000 feet of a regionally extensive series of southwesterly dipping basalt flows of the Columbia River Group. Most of the aquifers are confined. Those in the depth range of about 500 to 1,000 feet are the chief source of ground water pumped from irrigation wells. Transmissivity of these aquifers ranges from less than 2,700 feet squared per day to more than 40,000 feet squared per day, and storage coefficients range from 0.0015 to 0.006. Shallower aquifers are generally much less permeable, but they are a source of recharge to deeper aquifers with lower artesian heads; vertical leakage occurs along joints in the basalt and down uncased wells, which short circuit the aquifer system. For model analysis, the deeper, pumped aquifers were grouped and treated as a single layer with drawdown-dependent leakage from an overlying confining layer. Verification of the model was achieved primarily by closely matching observed pumpage-related head declines ranging from about 10 feet to more than 40 feet over the 4-year period from March 1967 to March 1971.
Projected average annual rates of decline in the Odessa-Lind area during the 14-year period from March 1967 to March 1981 are: from 1 to 9 feet per year if pumpage is maintained at the 1970 rate of 117,000 acre-feet per year; or, from 3 to 33 feet per year if 1970 pumpage is increased to 233,000 acre-feet per year, which includes 116,000 acre-feet per year covered by water-right applications held in abeyance. In each case, projected drawdown on the northeast side of a major ground-water barrier is about double that on the southwest side because of differences in transmissivity and storage coefficient and in sources of recharge.
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Digital-simulation and projection of water-level declines in basalt aquifers of the Odessa-Lind area, east-central Washington