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This report is available online in pdf format (1 MB): USGS OFR 00-66 ()
Prepared in cooperation with the
ARIZONA DEPARTMENT OF WATER RESOURCES and the BUREAU OF INDIAN AFFAIRS
By Margot Truini, B.M. Baum, G.R. Littin, and Gayl Shingoitewa-Honanie
The Black Mesa monitoring program is designed to document long-term effects of ground-water pumping from the N aquifer by industrial and municipal users. The N aquifer is the major source of water in the 5,400-square-mile Black Mesa area, and the ground water occurs under confined and unconfined conditions. Monitoring activities include continuous and periodic measurements of (1) ground-water pumpage from the confined and unconfined parts of the aquifer, (2) ground-water levels in the confined and unconfined parts of the aquifer, (3) surface-water discharge, (4) flowmeter tests, and (5) ground-water and surface-water chemistry.
In 1998, ground-water withdrawals for industrial and municipal use totaled about 7,060 acre-feet, which is less than a 1 percent decrease from 1997. Pumpage from the confined part of the aquifer decreased by less than 1 percent to 5,470 acre-feet, and pumpage from the unconfined part of the aquifer increased by less than 1 percent to 1,590 acre-feet. Water-level declines in the confined part of the aquifer were recorded in 10 of 14 wells during 1998, and the median change from 1997 was a decline of 3.0 feet as opposed to a rise of 0.2 feet for the change from 1996 to 1997. Water-level declines in the unconfined part of the aquifer were recorded in 9 of 16 wells, and the median change from 1997 was 0.0 feet, which is the same as the median change from 1996 to 1997.
Of the 35 pumpage meters on municipal wells that were tested, the difference between metered and tested discharge ranged from +6.3 to -19.6 percent. The average difference was about -3.4 percent. Five of the meters exceeded the allowable difference (10 percent) and should be repaired or replaced.
The low-flow discharge at the Moenkopi streamflow-gaging station ranged from 2.6 to 4.7 cubic feet per second in 1998. Streamflow-discharge measurements also were made at Laguna Creek, Dinnebito Wash, and Polacca Wash during 1998. The low-flow discharge ranged from 0.41 to 5.1 cubic feet per second at Laguna Creek, 0.32 to 0.44 cubic feet per second at Dinnebito Wash, and 0.13 to 0.36 cubic feet per second at Polacca Wash. Discharge was measured at four springs. Discharge from Moenkopi School Spring decreased by about 1.1 gallons per minute from the measurement in 1997. Discharge from an unnamed spring near Dennehotso decreased by 4.6 gallons per minute from the measurement made in 1997. Discharge increased slightly at Burro Spring and decreased by about 1 gallon per minute at Pasture Canyon Spring. Regionally, long-term water-chemistry data for wells and springs have remained stable.
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