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Effects of agricultural irrigation on water resources in the St. Joseph River basin, Indiana, and implications for aquifer yield

Water-Resources Investigations Report 87-4273

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Abstract

During the past decade, the acreage of irrigated agricultural land in Indiana has tripled, causing public concern about competition for water and resulting in several State laws for regulating water withdrawals. The St. Joseph River basin represents less than one-tenth of the area of the State, but it contains one-third of the State 's irrigated land. Irrigated land in the basin is composed of permeable soils that are underlain by productive glacial aquifers. A computer model was used to analyze the effects of maximum irrigation withdrawals on aquifer drawdown and streamflow in a 16.5 sq mi area of intensive irrigation. Simulation of maximum pumping resulted in predicted aquifer drawdowns of one-fourth of the total available drawdown. Flow in a nearby stream was decreased by 40%. Areas of most intensive irrigation in the basin also are areas that have productive aquifers and well-sustained streamflows. Aquifer yield is based on the concept of capture - the volume of increased recharge to the aquifer or decreased discharge from the aquifer that results from pumping. The high rates of capture for aquifers in the basin supply ample water for present (1982) irrigation and for substantial future development. (USGS)

Study Area

Additional publication details

Publication type:
Report
Publication Subtype:
USGS Numbered Series
Title:
Effects of agricultural irrigation on water resources in the St. Joseph River basin, Indiana, and implications for aquifer yield
Series title:
Water-Resources Investigations Report
Series number:
87-4273
Year Published:
1988
Language:
English
Publisher:
U.S. Geological Survey
Publisher location:
Indianapolis, IN
Contributing office(s):
Indiana Water Science Center
Description:
vii, 35 p. :ill., maps ;28 cm.
First page:
1
Last page:
35
Country:
United States
State:
Indiana
County:
Elkhart, Kosciusko, Lagrange, Noble, Saint Joseph, Steuben, Berrien, Branch, Calhoun, cass, Hillsdale, Kalamazoo, Saint Joseph, Van Buren
Other Geospatial:
Saint Joseph River Basin
Online Only (Y/N):
N
Additional Online Files (Y/N):
N