Hydrology of stock-water development on the public domain of western Utah

Water Supply Paper 1475-N




A geologic and hydrologic reconnaissance was made on the public domain of western Utah to appraise the water resources of the area and to provide a basis for locating and developing sources of stock water. The study area includes the Bonneville, Pahvant, and Virgin Grazing Districts, in parts of Tooele, Utah, Juab, Millard, Beaver, Iron, and Washington Counties, Utah.

Western Utah is in the Great Basin section of the Basin and Range physiographic province and is typified by northward-trending parallel mountain ranges, and basins of interior drainage. Precipitation ranges from 5 to 9 inches annually in most of the valleys but in some places it is as much as 15 or 16 inches and probably is considerably greater in the mountains.

The valleys of western Utah have been classified in the report according to their hydrologic and topographic characteristics. The Great Salt Lake valley and the Sevier Lake valley are closed or terminal valleys having no outlet for the discharge of water except by evaporation. Such valleys are topographically closed and hydrologically undrained. Valleys tributary to these terminal valleys are topographically open valleys from which water is discharged by gravity flow to the terminal valley. Quality of ground water in the valleys of western Utah depends upon the valley type and place where the water is sampled with respect to the body of ground water in the valley fill. Quality of the water in the drained parts of the valleys is usually good whereas water in the undrained parts of the valleys may be heavily charged with dissolved mineral contaminants. Limits of tolerance for use of salt-contaminated water are cited.

The adequacy of distribution of water supplies in western Utah was determined by application of the service area concept to the existing supplies. Stock-water supplies are obtained from wells, springs, and reservoirs. Most of the wells are in the valleys where water is obtained from valley fill; the depth to water ranges from a few tens of feet to several hundred feet. Ground water generally cannot be obtained in the mountains because the rocks either lack permeability or are drained.

Data collected in 13 valleys, each valley forming a ground-water unit, are listed in the tables and are used to evaluate the prospects for obtaining additional water supplies.

Additional publication details

Publication type:
Publication Subtype:
USGS Numbered Series
Hydrology of stock-water development on the public domain of western Utah
Series title:
Water Supply Paper
Series number:
Year Published:
U.S. Government Printing Office
Publisher location:
Washington, D.C.
Contributing office(s):
Utah Water Science Center
Report: iv, 50 p.; Plate: 19.00 x 35.50 inches
Larger Work Type:
Larger Work Subtype:
USGS Numbered Series
Larger Work Title:
Hydrology of the Public Domain (Water Supply Paper 1475)
First page:
Last page:
Public Comments:
Prepared as part of the soil and moisture program of the Department of the Interior
United States