Sunday, May 26, 2013

Aquifer depletion, Arizona alluvial and Black Mesa basins

A national study of groundwater depletion since 1900 includes reviews of Alluvial Basins and the deep confined aquifer in Black Mesa Basin in Arizona.

The Alluvial Basins include 72 distinct basins in south-central Arizona, covering 212,000 square kilometers, filled with as much as 3,000 meters of unconsolidated alluvial fill.    The use of Colorado River water and recharge of basins, has halted or even reversed groundwater declines in some basins since 1980, but it appears that cumulative groundwater withdrawal as of 2008 was 102 cubic kilometers.

Groundwater withdrawal from the multiple zones in the Navajo ("N") aquifer in northeast Arizona has increased since the 1960s for municipal and industrial uses,  cumulatively totaling an estimated 0.22 cubic kilometers by 2008.

Ref: Konikow, L.F., 2013, Groundwater depletion in the United States (1900−2008): U.S. Geological Survey Scientific Investigations Report 2013−5079, 63 p., (Available only online.)

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