Water Quality in Aquifers Used for Drinking-Water Supplies, Gem County

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The U.S. Geological Survey, in cooperation with Gem County and the Idaho Department of Environmental Quality, is assessing the quality of groundwater from freshwater aquifers used for drinking-water supplies.

The rapid population growth in Gem County has been similar to other counties in southwestern Idaho, increasing about 54 percent from 1990 to 2015. Because the entire population of the study area depends on groundwater for drinking water supply (either from self-supplied domestic, community, or municipal-supply wells), this population growth, along with changes in land use, prompted the Gem County Board of Commissioners to ask us to assess the quality of groundwater used for human consumption.