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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.

Study Area

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
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