Groundwater Management Process Simulations Using an Updated Version of the Three-Dimensional Numerical Model of Groundwater Flow in Northern Utah Valley, Utah County, Utah

Scientific Investigations Report 2021-5010
Prepared in cooperation with the North Utah County Aquifer Council
By:  and 

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Abstract

Groundwater is a primary source of drinking water in northern Utah County. The groundwater system is recharged mainly from precipitation in the adjacent Wasatch Mountains and infiltration of streamflow. In 2004, groundwater withdrawals were estimated to be roughly 44,500 acre-feet per year. In 2016, groundwater withdrawals were estimated to be greater than 63,400 acre-feet per year. To prepare for anticipated future increases in groundwater withdrawals, local cities identified 16 locations as feasible for managed aquifer recharge. Using an updated version of an existing U.S. Geological Survey groundwater flow model of northern Utah County, the Groundwater-Management Process for MODFLOW-2005 was used to investigate optimal managed aquifer recharge scenarios with the objective of maintaining acceptable reductions in simulated discharge at 12 groundwater discharge areas and flowing wells along Utah Lake.

The Groundwater-Management Process is applied to a 50-year (2017–66) projection of groundwater conditions using average recharge conditions and a linear increase of approximately 750 acre-feet per year of municipal groundwater withdrawals. Two sets of discharge constraints were applied. The first scenario constrains discharge to greater than or equal to 80 percent of the 2016 simulated groundwater discharge along Utah Lake. The constraint was met with a total managed aquifer recharge rate of roughly 7,300 acre-feet per year during 2042–56, and 15,600 acre-feet per year during 2057–66. A second scenario constrains discharge to greater than or equal to 90 percent of the 2016 simulated discharge. This constraint can only be met at 8 of the 12 discharge areas along Utah Lake. This required a managed aquifer recharge rate of roughly 10,000 acre-feet per year during 2042–56 and 15,400 acre-feet per year during 2057–66. For both scenarios, the Groundwater-Management Process indicated that all managed aquifer recharge sites need to be used to meet discharges constraints. The discharge constraints were informally defined on the basis of the water rights hierarchy associated with Utah Lake.

Suggested Citation

Stolp, B.J., and Brooks, L.E., 2021, Groundwater management process simulations using an updated version of the three-dimensional numerical model of groundwater flow in northern Utah Valley, Utah County, Utah: U.S. Geological Survey Scientific Investigations Report 2021–5010, 28 p., https://doi.org/10.3133/sir20215010.

ISSN: 2328-0328 (online)

Study Area

Table of Contents

  • Abstract
  • Introduction
  • Updated Model
  • Assessment of the Updated Model
  • Prediction of Future Conditions
  • Future Monitoring
  • Summary
  • References Cited
Publication type Report
Publication Subtype USGS Numbered Series
Title Groundwater management process simulations using an updated version of the three-dimensional numerical model of groundwater flow in northern Utah Valley, Utah County, Utah
Series title Scientific Investigations Report
Series number 2021-5010
DOI 10.3133/sir20215010
Year Published 2021
Language English
Publisher U.S. Geological Survey
Publisher location Reston, VA
Contributing office(s) Utah Water Science Center
Description vi, 28 p
Country United States
State Utah
County Utah County
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