The Black Mesa monitoring program is designed to document long-term effects of ground-water from the N aquifer by industrial and municipal users. The N aquifer is the major source of water in the 5,400-square-mile Black Mesa area, and the ground water occurs under confined and unconfined conditions. Monitoring activities include continuous and periodic measurements of (1) ground-water pumpage from the confined and unconfined parts of the aquifer, (2) ground-water levels in the confined and unconfined parts of the aquifer, (3) surface-water discharge, and (4) chemistry of the ground water and surface water.
In 1997, ground-water withdrawals for industrial and municipal use totaled about 7,090 acre-feet, which is less than a 1-percent increase from 1996. Pumpage from the confined part of the aquifer increased by about 2 percent to 5,510 acre-feet, and pumpage from the unconfined part of the aquifer decreased by about 4 percent to 1,580 acre-feet. Water-level declines in the confined part during 1997 were recorded in 5 of 12 wells; however, the median change was a rise of about 0.2 foot as opposed to a decline of 2.8 feet for 1996. Water-level declines in the unconfined part were recorded in 7 of 15 wells, and the median change was 0.0 foot in 1997 as opposed to a decline of 0.5 foot in 1996.
The low-flow discharge at the Moenkopi streamflow-gaging station ranged from 1.6 to 2.0 cubic feet per second in 1997. Streamflow-discharge measurements also were made at Laguna Creek, Dinnebito Wash, and Polacca Wash during 1997. The low-flow discharge ranged from 2.3 to 4.2 cubic feet per second at Laguna Creek, 0.44 to 0.48 cubic foot per second at Dinnebito Wash, and 0.15 to 0.26 cubic foot per second at Polacca Wash. Discharge was measured at three springs. Discharge from Moenkopi School Spring increased by about 3 gallons per minute from the measurement in 1996. Discharge from an unnamed spring near Dennehotso increased by 9.9 gallons per minute from the measurement made in 1996; however, discharge decreased slightly at Burro Spring. Regionally, long-term water-chemistry data for wells and springs have remained stable. Locally, water-chemistry data for some wells have shown marked increases in concentrations of major constituents.
Additional publication details
USGS Numbered Series
Ground-water, surface-water, and water-chemistry data, Black Mesa area, northeastern Arizona, 1997
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