The Wind River Indian Reservation, located in parts of Fremont and Hot Springs Counties, Wyoming, has a total land area of more than 3,500 square miles. Ground water on the Wind River Indian Reservation is a valuable resource for Shoshone and Northern Arapahoe tribal members and others who live on the Reservation. There are many types of land uses on the Reservation that have the potential to affect the quality of ground-water resources. Urban areas, rural housing developments, agricultural lands, landfills, oil and natural gas fields, mining, and pipeline utility corridors all have the potential to affect ground-water quality. A cooperative study was developed between the U.S. Geological Survey and the Wind River Environmental Quality Commission to identify areas of the Reservation that have the highest potential for ground-water contamination and develop a comprehensive plan to monitor these areas.
An arithmetic overlay model for the Wind River Indian Reservation was created using seven geographic information system data layers representing factors with varying potential to affect ground-water quality. The data layers used were: the National Land Cover Dataset, water well density, aquifer sensitivity, oil and natural gas fields and petroleum pipelines, sites with potential contaminant sources, sites that are known to have ground-water contamination, and National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System sites. A prioritization map for monitoring ground-water quality on the Reservation was created using the model. The prioritization map ranks the priority for monitoring ground-water quality in different areas of the Reservation as low, medium, or high. To help minimize bias in selecting sites for a monitoring well network, an automated stratified random site-selection approach was used to select 30 sites for ground-water quality monitoring within the high priority areas. In addition, the study also provided a sampling design for constituents to be monitored, sampling frequency, and a simple water-table level observation well network.
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USGS Numbered Series
Monitoring-well network and sampling design for ground-water quality, Wind River Indian Reservation, Wyoming