Estimating cost of ground‐water withdrawal for river basin planning

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Comparative costs of ground water were needed for comprehensive planning of water resources development in the Susquehanna River basin in order to appraise the feasibility of alternative sources of water supply. Log‐normal plots on logarithmic‐probability paper that represented specific capacities adjusted to 180 days of pumping were used to estimate well yields and costs of obtaining the ground water from each of 65 potential aquifers. The 25, 50, and 75 percent probability of occurrence of the specific capacities of successful wells were used in the calculations. The estimated well yields at these probabilities of occurrence were obtained using hypothetical well designs and selected drawdowns. Ground‐water costs for the estimated or design yields were calculated using amortized costs of well construction, electrical power costs, and maintenance costs, all obtained from standard sources. The calculated well yields and costs for the 25 to 75 percent probability interval range from 15 to 9,000 gpm (gallons per minute) and from $0.004 to $0.11 per thousand gallons of design yield. The yields and costs group according to aquifer rock type. The calculated costs decrease with increasing well yield and the available yield depends upon the aquifer rock type available. Representative costs per thousand gallons of design yield for selected yields from aquifers composed of different rock types analyzed are: 50 gpm −$0.060 for shale and interbedded sandstone and shale, and $0.050 for metamorphic rock; 100 gpm ‐ $0.043 or shale and interbedded sandstone and shale, $0.037 for metamorphic rock, and $0.032 for carbonate rock; 500 gpm—$0.020 for sandstone, $0.015 for carbonate rock, and $0.012 for glacial sand and gravel; and 1,000 gpm —$0.009 for glacial sand and gravel. Differences in cost to obtain the same yield from different rock types are primarily due to differences in electrical power costs as determined by differences in pumping water levels. If used with caution, the generalized yield and cost estimates for aquifer rock types may have usefulness in estimating ground‐water costs and yields in similar humid areas. They are primarily useful for planning and comparative purposes, but not for the actual design of engineering projects.

Publication type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Title Estimating cost of ground‐water withdrawal for river basin planning
Series title Groundwater
DOI 10.1111/j.1745-6584.1968.tb01652.x
Volume 6
Issue 4
Year Published 1968
Language English
Publisher NGWA The Groundwater Association
Description 9 p.
First page 15
Last page 23
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