The USGS is scheduled to release a Northern Arizona Regional Groundwater Flow Model [right, model area. Credit, USGS] this week, aimed at addressing issues in the Big Chino watershed but also covering the million acre area where uranium exploration has been halted while an EIS is completed. I raised the question whether this new report was included in the EIS preparation, or if not, would it be used now. John Hoffman, Director of the USGS Arizona Water Science Center in Tucson, emailed this afternoon to say,
"The regional groundwater flow model referred to in the news release does not have any new information about groundwater that is not already described in [USGS] SIR 2010-5025. There is a limited amount of hydrogeologic information in that area and what is there was very simplified within the model for the purpose of simulation of water-budget components. This model does provide a great foundation for subsequent work; however, unless more information were available, this model would probably not be appropriate for use in the final EIS."Public comments on the northern Arizona uranium draft EIS are being accepted through May 4.