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Study: Nevada withdrawals would hurt Snake Valley springs

A small team of our geologists have been working in Snake Valley to determine future effects the Southern Nevada Water Authority’s proposal to tap Snake Valley aquifers could have on ranchers and fragile desert ecosystems. Check out this Salt Lake Tribune article for more information on the matter.

sltrib.com

For years, Snake Valley ranchers and environmentalists have complained Las Vegas’ designs on rural groundwater would wreck their livelihoods and dry up fragile desert ecosystems in Utah’s West Desert.

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REPORTS OF INVESTIGATION 264

RI-264WETLANDS IN THE FARMINGTON BAY AREA, DAVIS COUNTY, UTAH- AN EVALUATION OF THREATS POSED BY GROUND-WATER DEVELOPMENT AND DROUGHT
Charles E. Bishop, Mike Lowe, Janae Wallace, Richard L. Emerson, and J. Scott Horn

This CD contains a 36-page report of an evaluation by the Utah Geological Survey of threats to the Farmington Bay area wetlands posed by changes in climatic conditions and by increased ground-water withdrawals accompanying population growth. To evaluate the potential impacts of drought and increased development on the wetlands, we used existing data to estimate a water budget for the wetlands area. To determine the potential impacts posed by increased ground-water development and further drought, we used two regional, three-dimensional, steady-state and transient MODFLOW models for the east shore area of Great Salt Lake to evaluate water-budget changes for the wetland areas. The modeling suggests that subsurface inflow into the wetland areas would be most affected by decreased subsurface inflow due to long-term (20-year) drought conditions, but subsurface inflow would also decrease due to increased municipal and industrial well withdrawals over the same time period. Therefore, the worst-case scenario for the wetlands would be a combination of both conditions.

CD (36 p.)

RI-264………$14.95

GET IT HERE