thumbnail

Ground-water hydrology and simulated effects of development in the Milford area, an arid basin in southwestern Utah

Professional Paper 1409-G

By:

Links

Abstract

A three-dimensional, finite-difference model was constructed to simulate ground-water flow in the Milford area. The purpose of the study was to evaluate present knowledge and concepts of the groundwater system, to analyze the ability of the model to represent past and current (1984) conditions, and to estimate the effects of various groundwater development alternatives. The alternative patterns of groundwater development might prove effective in capturing natural discharge from the basin-fill aquifer while limiting water-level declines. Water levels measured during this study indicate that ground water in the Milford area flows in a northwesterly direction through consolidated rocks in the northern San Francisco Mountains toward Sevier Lake. The revised potentiometric surface shows a large area for probable basin outflow, indicating that more water leaves the Milford area than the 8 acre-feet per year estimated previously.

Simulations made to calibrate the model were able to approximate steady-state conditions for 1927, before ground-water development began, and transient conditions for 1950-82, during which groundwater withdrawal increased. Basin recharge from the consolidated rocks and basin outflow were calculated during the calibration process. Transient simulations using constant and variable recharge from surface water were made to test effects of large flows in the Beaver River.

Simulations were made to project water-level declines over a 37- year period (1983-2020) using the present pumping distribution. Ground-water withdrawals were simulated at 1, 1.5, and 2 times the 1979-82 average rate.

The concepts of "sustained" yield, ground-water mining, and the capture of natural discharge were tested using several hypothetical pumping distributions over a 600-year simulation period. Simulations using concentrated pumping centers were the least efficient at capturing natural discharge and produced the largest water-level declines. Simulations using strategically placed ground-water withdrawals in the discharge area were the most efficient at eliminating natural discharge with small water-level declines.

Study Area

Additional publication details

Publication type:
Report
Publication Subtype:
USGS Numbered Series
Title:
Ground-water hydrology and simulated effects of development in the Milford area, an arid basin in southwestern Utah
Series title:
Professional Paper
Series number:
1409
Chapter:
G
ISBN:
0-607-86818-X
Year Published:
1998
Language:
English
Publisher:
U.S. Geological Survey
Publisher location:
Denver, CO
Contributing office(s):
Utah Water Science Center
Description:
Report: viii, 69 p.; 2 plates, 15.00 in x 18.00 in.
First page:
G1
Last page:
G69
Country:
United States
State:
Utah
City:
Milford