U.S. Geological Survey Water-Resources Investigations Report 03–4024
Prepared in cooperation with the
WICHITA AND AFFILIATED TRIBES TRIBAL COUNCIL AND
BUREAUOF INDIAN AFFAIRS
This report is available as a pdf.
This report is an overview of water resources in and near the Wichita and Affiliated Tribes treaty lands in western Oklahoma. The tribal treaty lands are about 1,140 square miles and are bordered by the Canadian River on the north, the Washita River on the south, 98° west longitude on the east, and 98° 40' west longitude on the west. Seventy percent of the study area lies within the Washita River drainage basin and 30 percent of the area lies within the Canadian River drainage basin.
March through June are months of greatest average streamflow, with 49 to 57 percent of the annual streamflow occurring in these four months. November through February, July, and August have the least average streamflow with only 26 to 36 percent of the annual streamflow occurring in these six months.
Two streamflow-gaging stations, Canadian River at Bridgeport and Cobb Creek near Fort Cobb, indicated peak streamflows generally decrease with regulation. Two other streamflow-gaging stations, Washita River at Carnegie and Washita River at Anadarko, indicated a decrease in peak streamflows after regulation at less than the 100-year recurrence and an increase in peak streamflows greater than the 100-year recurrence. Canadian River at Bridgeport and Washita River at Carnegie had estimated annual low flows that generally increased with regulation. Cobb Creek near Fort Cobb had a decrease of estimated annual low flows after regulation.
There are greater than 900 ground-water wells in the tribal treaty lands. Eighty percent of the wells are in Caddo County.The major aquifers in the study area are the Rush Springs Aquifer and portions of the Canadian River and Washita River valley alluvial aquifers. The Rush Springs Aquifer is used extensively for irrigation as well as industrial and municipal purposes, especially near population centers.The Canadian River and Washita River valley alluvial aquifers are not used extensively in the study area. Well yields from the Rush Springs Aquifer ranged from 11 to greater than 850 gallons per minute. The Rush Springs Aquifer is recharged by the infiltration of precipitation. The estimated recharge is about 1.80 inches per year evenly distributed over the outcrop of the aquifer in the study area.
Principal factors affecting the water quality in the study area include geology, agricultural practices,and oil and gas production. Calcium, magnesium, sulfate, and bicarbonate are the dominant dissolved constituents in water in the study area.
Interquartile dissolved-solids concentrations in surface-water samples in the study area generally were greater than interquartile concentrations in ground-water samples. Median dissolved-solids concentrations for ground-water samples from Canadian River, Ionine Creek, Spring Creek,and Washita River Basins, which ranged from 535 to 1,195 milligrams per liter,exceeded the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Secondary Drinking Water Standard of 500 milligrams per liter.
Interquartile sulfate concentrations in surface-water samples in the study area generally were greater than interquartile concentrations in ground-water samples. Median sulfate concentrations from ground-water samples in the Canadian River, IonineCreek,and Spring Creek Basins, which ranged from 385 to 570 milligrams per liter, exceeded the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Secondary Drinking Water Standard of 250 milligrams per liter.
Nitrite plus nitrate as nitrogen concentrations in surface-water samples in the study area generally were less than concentrations in ground-water samples. The median nitrite plus nitrate as nitrogen concentration in ground water was 9.8 milligrams per liter, suggesting almost one-half the ground-water samples exceeded the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Primary Drinking Water Standard (10 milligrams per liter).
An estimated 100 million gallons of water per day were withdrawn from surface and ground water for all uses in counties of the study area during 1995. Fifty percent of water use was for irrigation, and about 83 percent of water withdrawn for irrigation was from ground water. Livestock use represented 14 percent of the total water withdrawn and was supplied by surface- and ground-water sources. Water-supply for domestic and commercial uses was 31 percent of the total withdrawn and was supplied by surface- and ground-water sources.
Purpose and scope
Historical overview of Wichita and Affiliated Tribes and treaty lands
Method of investigation
Geology in relation to ground water
Land cover and land use
Seasonal distribution of streamflow
Magnitude and frequency of floods
Rush Springs Aquifer
Canadian and Washita River valley alluvial aquifers
Small stream-valley alluvial aquifers
U.S. Geological Survey
202 NW 66 St. Bldg. 7
Oklahoma City, OK 73116
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