Paper No. 14-5
Presentation Time: 8:30 AM-4:30 PM
GROUNDWATER DOES NOT FLOW IN A VACUUM—HOW COLLABORATION IS IMPERATIVE FOR REGIONAL-SCALE GROUNDWATER STUDIES: A CASE STUDY IN OGDEN VALLEY, UTAH
The Utah Geological Survey studies the quantity and quality of groundwater in basins across the state, typically taking two to four years to produce a comprehensive publication. Our partners in these studies often include state and local governments, quasi-governmental organizations such as water conservancy districts, academia, and citizen groups. We rely on public and private water users to share water-related data and grant access to wells, springs, and streams, and we use interns to collect data. The result is a product that is more robust than we could produce entirely in-house as a small State agency. This presentation will highlight two parts of a recent study on the groundwater in Ogden Valley, Utah, that were enhanced by collaboration—seepage studies and pumping effects on water levels. Results of a stream seepage study show that individual reaches of streams change from gaining to losing during the water year, and that many of the valley’s waterways lose water as they emerge from their mountain canyons but gain water as they flow over a thin, shallow unconfined aquifer. Data collected by public and private entities was necessary to correct water-level data for pressure loading by the weight of water in Pineview Reservoir. Once we made the corrections, we were able to show that pumping rate changes are reflected two days later in water levels in a well over two miles away.