Effects of present and projected ground-water withdrawals on the Twin Cities aquifer system, Minnesota

Water-Resources Investigations Report 90-4001
Prepared in cooperation with the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources and Metropolitan Council of the Twin Cities
By:

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Abstract

The Twin Cities aquifer system in Minnesota contains 5 aquifers and 4 confining units composed of 14 stratigraphic units. Bedrock aquifers consist of friable sandstones and highly fractured carbonate rocks; aquifers in the glacial drift consist of outwash and alluvium. From 1880 to 1980, groundwater withdrawals had caused long-term declines of water levels of as much as 90 feet in the Prairie du Chien-Jordan aquifer and 240 feet in the deeper Mount Simon-Hinckley aquifer--the two major sources of ground-water supplies in the area. A steady-state model of ground-water flow was used successfully to simulate the potentiometric surfaces of the aquifers during the 1970's. assuming a withdrawal rate of about 190 million gallons per day from the entire system.

Projected changes in population and industrial development suggest that future ground-water withdrawals may increase from those for the 1970's. Steady-state model results indicate that the potentiometric surface of the Mount Simon-Hinckley aquifer would be lowered as much as 400 feet if pumpage from that aquifer were increased by 125 percent above 1980 ground-water withdrawal rates of about 200 million gallons per day. The potentiometric surface of the Prairie du Chien-Jordan aquifer also would be lowered as much as 400 feet if pumpage from that aquifer were increased by 200 percent above 1980 ground-water withdrawals of 160 million gallons per day. Given the projected distribution of future ground-water development, and the limitations inherent in simulating ground-water flow, the model results indicate that an approximate limit of ground-water availability in the Twin Cities Metropolitan Area, Minnesota, is from about 500 to 800 million gallons per day.

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Additional publication details

Publication type Report
Publication Subtype USGS Numbered Series
Title Effects of present and projected ground-water withdrawals on the Twin Cities aquifer system, Minnesota
Series title Water-Resources Investigations Report
Series number 90-4001
DOI 10.3133/wri904001
Year Published 1990
Language English
Publisher U.S. Geological Survey
Publisher location St. Paul, MN
Contributing office(s) Minnesota Water Science Center
Description viii, 165 p.
Country United States
State Minnesota
Other Geospatial Twin Cities Metropolitan Area
Online Only (Y/N) N
Additional Online Files (Y/N) N
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