Summary appraisals of the Nation's ground-water resources; Upper Mississippi region

Professional Paper 813-B




The Upper Mississippi Region in general is rich in water-surface water is plentiful, and ground water is a large, important, and manageable resource. Total potable water in storage in the outwash and alluvial aquifers of the Mississippi River valley and the subbasins is about 45,000 billion gallons. This is about 10 percent of the water in storage in Lake Ontario. Water in storage in other aquifers of the region is probably at least several times that in the outwash and alluvial aquifers. Estimated ground-water recharge in the subbasins is 23,000 million gallons per day.

A comparison of ground-water withdrawals with estimated ground-water recharge suggests that the large ground-water resource of the region is not being fully utilized. Ground-water use by domestic, commercial, and rural interests is only 4 percent of recharge. Ground-water use (1965) by industry is only 3 percent of recharge.

Water in the outwash and alluvial aquifers of much of the valley of the Mississippi River in and south of St. Paul, Minn. of the Illinois River, the Lower Minnesota River, the Wisconsin River, the Lower Black River, the Wapsipinicon River, the Lower Rock River, and the Upper Des Moines River can be considered a regional resource. In these areas the ground-water resources are of sufficient magnitude to satisfy more than just local needs. For example, under certain specified conditions, ground water in the above areas can supply approximately 20 million additional people. Factors other than water supply, of course, will be constraints on development in the region.

Advances in techniques in ground-water hydrology during recent years have provided methods that the hydrologist and planner can use for planning and design of ground-water developments. Therefore, the planner can now resolve some of the development and management questions that historically have bred uncertainty when this part of the water resource was considered for development.

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Publication Subtype:
USGS Numbered Series
Summary appraisals of the Nation's ground-water resources; Upper Mississippi region
Series title:
Professional Paper
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Year Published:
U.S. Geological Survey
Publisher location:
Washington, D.C.
Contributing office(s):
Indiana Water Science Center
iii, 22 p.
United States
Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Missouri, Minnesota, South Dakota, Wisconsin
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