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Estimated Availability of Water from Stratified-Drift Aquifers in the Concord River Basin, Massachusetts

Water-Resources Investigations Report 94-4256

By Lisa Bratton and Gene W. Parker


ABSTRACT

An understanding of water availability in the Concord River Basin for public and private supply requires an understanding of the interaction between surface-water and ground-water systems. This understanding is needed because excessive ground-water withdrawals may reduce streamflows to unacceptable levels. The U.S. Geological Survey, in cooperation with the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Management, Office of Water Resources, studied the Concord River Basin to estimate the volume of water available from stratified-drift aquifers. 

A combined hydrograph-separation and streamflow-duration-curve analysis indicates that 20.8 million cubic feet of water could be withdrawn from the stratified-drift aquifer above the South Acton streamflow-gaging station during a 102-day period of no recharge before streamflow would be reduced to a prescribed minimum level. This volume, which equals 2.85 million cubic feet per square mile of stratified drift, was used to estimate volume of available water in 17 aquifer areas in the Concord River Basin. The total volume of available water in the Concord River Basin is estimated to be 561 million cubic feet. 

Finite-difference ground-water-flow models for the River Meadow Brook aquifer area and the Sudbury and Concord aquifer area quantified the current and potential water availability. The results of three withdrawal simulations for each aquifer area indicate that the 1989 ground-water withdrawal rates would not exceed the volume of water that would be available during a 102-day period of no recharge if water-table drawdowns were not considered. However, results do indicate that volumes of withdrawn water would exceed the available water in the two aquifer areas if maximum lowering of the water table as a percentage of total saturated thickness were 10 and 65 percent at existing and hypothetical wells.


CONTENTS

Abstract

Introduction

Previous investigations

Acknowledgments

Description of the Concord River Basin

Water use

Land use

Streamflow

Estimated availability of water

Water availability during periods of no recharge, based on hydrograph-separation and streamflow-duration curves

Current and potential water availability for three withdrawal scenarios

Description of model

Assumptions and limitations

Simulated withdrawal rates and volumes

Summary

References cited


FIGURES

1-4. Maps showing:

1. Location of the Concord River Basin.

2. Location of aquifer areas in the Concord River Basin.

3. Location of water-withdrawal and wastewater-return sites in the Concord River Basin.

4. Location of U.S. Geological Survey streamflow-gaging stations and ungaged measurement sites in the Concord River Basin.

5. Graph showing average of daily mean streamflow for Nashoba Brook at South Acton (station 01097300), 1970-92.

6. Streamflow-duration curve for Nashoba Brook at South Acton (station 01097300), 1970-92

7. Map showing location of ground-water-flow-model areas in the Concord River Basin.

8-10. Graphs showing simulated water-withdrawal rates and volumes in the River Meadow Brook aquifer area:

8. Based on 1989 withdrawals from existing-well cells.

9. Based on initial drawdowns at 10 percent of saturated thickness from existing- and hypothetical-well cells.

10. Based on initial drawdowns at 65 percent of saturated thickness from existing- and hypothetical-well cells.

11-13. Graphs showing simulated water-withdrawal rates and volumes in the Sudbury and Concord aquifer area:

11. Based on 1989 withdrawals from existing-well cells.

12. Based on initial drawdowns at 10 percent of saturated thickness from existing- and hypothetical-well cells.

13. Based on initial drawdowns at 65 percent of saturated thickness from existing- and hypothetical-well cells.

A1-A6. Diagrams showing:

Al. Grid for the model of the River Meadow Brook aquifer area.

A2. Ranges of saturated thickness used for the model of the River Meadow Brook aquifer area.

A3. Ranges of hydraulic conductivity used for the model of the River Meadow Brook aquifer area.

A4. Grid for the model of the Sudbury and Concord aquifer area.

A5. Ranges of saturated thickness used for the model of the Sudbury and Concord aquifer area.

A6. Ranges of hydraulic conductivity used for the model of the Sudbury and Concord aquifer area.


TABLES

1. Water-withdrawal sites and withdrawal amounts in the Concord River Basin, Massachusetts, 1989.

2. Wastewater-return sites and return amounts in the Concord River Basin, Massachusetts, 1989. 

3. Volumes of available water from aquifer areas in the Concord River Basin, based on hydrograph-separation and streamflow-duration-curve analysis for Nashoba Brook at South Acton, Massachusetts.

4. Volumes of available water from River Meadow Brook and Sudbury and Concord aquifer areas, Massachusetts, during 102-day period, on the basis of ground-water-flow simulations.


AVAILABILITY

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PDF version of report (21.27 MB) --42 pages

The citation for this report, in USGS format, is as follows:

Bratton, L., and Parker, G.W., 1995, Availability of water estimated from stratified-drift aquifers in the Concord River Basin, Massachusetts: U.S. Geological Survey Water-Resources Investigations Report 94-4256, 35 p.

For more information about USGS activities in Massachusetts-Rhode Island District, visit the USGS Massachusetts-Rhode Island Home Page.



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