The climate of Park County, Wyoming, ranges from desert to alpine tundra. Average annual precipitation ranges from 6 to 40 inches. Ground water is present throughout most of the county, but supplies adequate for stock or domestic use are not readily available in areas of greatest need. The chemical quality of most of the water sampled was of suitable quality for livestock, but most of the water was not suitable for drinking, and the water from bedrock aquifers generally was not suitable for irrigation. Unconsolidated deposits are a principal source of ground water in the county. However, ground water is found in deposits topographically higher than stream level only where surface water has been applied for irrigation; those unconsolidated deposits beneath areas that are not irrigated, such as Polecat Bench, are dry. The conversion of irrigated land to urban development poses problems in some areas because yields of water-supply wells will be adversely affected by reduced recharge. The trend toward urban development also increases the risk of contamination of the ground water by septic tanks, petroleum products, and toxic and hazardous wastes. Perennial streams originate in the mountains and in areas where drainage from irrigated land is adequate to sustain flow. The average annual runoff from streams originating in the mountains is as large as 598 acre-feet per square mile, and the average annual runoff from streams originating in badlands and plains is as low as 14.8 acre-feet per square mile.
Additional publication details
USGS Numbered Series
Hydrology of Park County, Wyoming, exclusive of Yellowstone National Park
Water-Resources Investigations Report
U.S. Dept. of the Interior, U.S. Geological Survey ;
Earth Science Information Center, Open-File Reports Section [distributor],