Water resources of Bannock Creek basin, southeastern Idaho

Water-Resources Investigations Report 97-4231
Prepared in cooperation with the Shoshone-Bannock Tribes
By:  and 



The potential for development of water resources in the Bannock Creek Basin is limited by water supply. Bannock Creek Basin covers 475 square miles in southeastern Idaho. Shoshone-Bannock tribal lands on the Fort Hall Indian Reservation occupy the northern part of the basin; the remainder of the basin is privately owned.

Only a small amount of information on the hydrologic and water-quality characteristics of Bannock Creek Basin is available, and two previous estimates of water yield from the basin ranged widely from 45,000 to 132,500 acre-feet per year. The Shoshone-Bannock Tribes need an accurate determination of water yield and baseline water-quality characteristics to plan and implement a sustainable level of water use in the basin.

Geologic setting, quantities of precipitation, evapotranspiration, surface-water runoff, recharge, and ground-water underflow were used to determine water yield in the basin. Water yield is the annual amount of surface and ground water available in excess of evapotranspiration by crops and native vegetation. Water yield from Bannock Creek Basin was affected by completion of irrigation projects in 1964. Average 1965-89 water yield from five subbasins in Bannock Creek Basin determined from water budgets was 60,600 acre-feet per year. Water yield from the Fort Hall Indian Reservation part of Bannock Creek Basin was estimated to be 37,700 acre-feet per year.

Water from wells, springs, and streams is a calcium bicarbonate type. Concentrations of dissolved nitrite plus nitrate as nitrogen and fluoride were less than Maximum Contaminant Levels for public drinking-water supplies established by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Large concentrations of chloride and nitrogen in water from several wells, springs, and streams likely are due to waste from septic tanks or stock animals. Estimated suspended-sediment load near the mouth of Bannock Creek was 13,300 tons from December 1988 through July 1989. Suspended-sediment discharge was greatest during periods of high streamflow.

Study Area

Additional publication details

Publication type Report
Publication Subtype USGS Numbered Series
Title Water resources of Bannock Creek basin, southeastern Idaho
Series title Water-Resources Investigations Report
Series number 97-4231
DOI 10.3133/wri974231
Year Published 1997
Language English
Publisher U.S. Geological Survey
Publisher location Boise, ID
Contributing office(s) Idaho Water Science Center
Description v, 45 p.
Country United States
State Idaho
Other Geospatial Bannock Creek Basin;Fort Hall Indian Reservation
Projection Universal Transverse Mercator projection
Scale 100000
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