The Black Mesa monitoring program is designed to document long-term effects of ground-water pumping from the N aquifer by industrial and municipal users. The N aquifer is the major source of water in the 5,400-square-mile Black Mesa area, and the ground water occurs under confined and unconfined conditions. Monitoring activities include continuous and periodic measurements of (1) ground-water pumpage from the confined and unconfined areas of the aquifer, (2) ground-water levels in the confined and unconfined areas of the aquifer, (3) surface-water discharge, and (4) chemistry of the ground water and surface water. In 1994, ground-water withdrawals for industrial and municipal use totaled about 7,000 acre-feet, which is an 8-percent increase from the previous year. Pumpage from the confined part of the aquifer increased by about 9 percent to 5,400 acre-feet, and pumpage from the unconfined part of the aquifer increased by about 2 percent to 1,600 acre-feet. Water-level declines in the confined area during 1994 were recorded in 10 of 16 wells, and the median change was a decline of about 2.3 feet as opposed to a decline of 3.3 feet for the previous year. The median change in water levels in the unconfined area was a rise of 0.1 foot in 1994 as opposed to a decline of 0.5 foot in 1993. Measured low-flow discharge along Moenkopi Wash decreased from 3.0 cubic feet per second in 1993 to 2.9 cubic feet per second in 1994. Eleven low-flow measurements were made along Laguna Creek between Tsegi, Arizona, and Chinle Wash to determine the amount of discharge that would occur as seepage from the N aquifer under optimal base-flow conditions. Discharge was 5.6 cubic feet per second near Tsegi and 1.5 cubic feet per second above the confluence with Chinle Wash. Maximum discharge was 5.9 cubic feet per second about 4 miles upstream from Dennehotso. Discharge was measured at three springs. The changes in discharge at Burro and Whisky Springs were small and within the uncertainty of measurement. Discharge at Moenkopi School Spring decreased from 14.6 gallons per minute in 1993 to 12.9 gallons per minute in 1994. Regionally long-term water-chemistry data for wells and springs have shown no discernible change. A recent gradual increase in concentrations of dissolved solids, sulfate, and chloride in water from Forest Lake NTUA 1, however, indicates that, locally, water from the D aquifer may be mixing with water from the N aquifer.
Additional publication details
USGS Numbered Series
Results of ground-water, surface-water, and water-chemistry monitoring, Black Mesa area, northeastern Arizona, 1994
Water-Resources Investigations Report
U.S. Geological Survey ;
Open-File Section [distributor],