Location and extent of area - Juab, Millard, and Iron counties lie in western Utah, and, with the exception of a small part of Iron County, are entirely within the Great Basin. (See fig. 1.) They comprise about 13,650 square miles, of which approximately 3,500 belong to Juab, 6,775 to Millard, and 3,375 to Iron County. Beaver County, which lies between Millard and Iron counties, is not discussed in this paper because its water resources have been described by W. T. Lee, of the United States Geological Survey, in Water-Supply Paper 217.
Purpose of investigation - The investigation was begun in the summer of 1908, under cooperative agreement between the Director of the United States Geological Survey and Caleb Tanner, State engineer of Utah, the object of the work being to obtain and disseminate information which should lead to a greater utilization of the ground-water supplies.
The agricultural development of an arid section, such as this, is primarily dependent on the amount of water available. Large tracts of fertile soil remain idle year after year for lack of water for irrigation, while much water that falls as rain and snow sinks into the ground, saturates the porous materials underlying the valleys and deserts, and eventually reappears at the surface in low alkali flats, where it is dissipated by evaporation without producing useful vegetation. If the water thus lost can be applied to fertile soil it will substantially increase the agricultural yield of the region.
An urgent demand for information in regard to ground-water prospects has been created in recent years by the adoption of dry farming methods in localities where water is not readily obtained. The water required for culinary purposes and for supplying the horses and traction engines used in tilling the soil on some of the dry farms is at present hauled long distances.
In most of the arid parts of this region watering places of any sort are so scarce that certain sections are accessible for grazing only in the winter when sheep will depend on snow for their water supply. In some of these sections an intelligent search would probably discover ground-water supplies which would increase greatly the value of the range.
Additional publication details
USGS Numbered Series
Ground water in Juab, Millard, and Iron Counties, Utah
Water Supply Paper
U.S. Geological Survey
U.S. Geological Survey
Report: 162 p. + plates; Plate from Pocket: 15 x 20 inches