Utah Water Science Center

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The Utah Water Science Center priority is to continue the important work of the Department of the Interior and the USGS, while also maintaining the health and safety of our employees and community.  Based on guidance from the White House, the CDC, and state and local authorities, we are shifting our operations to a virtual mode and have minimal staffing within our offices. 

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News

Date published: August 16, 2019

Groundwater in Moab Area Less than Previously Reported

A new assessment of groundwater resources in the Spanish Valley watershed in southern Utah shows an amount that is about 30–40% lower than previously reported, according to a U.S. Geological Survey report.

Date published: April 11, 2019

Salinity Cycles in Lower Colorado River Caused by Precipitation Patterns in Upper Basin

A new study shows that mysterious cycles in salinity in the lower Colorado River are a result of precipitation patterns in the headwaters of the upper basin more than a thousand river miles away. The salinity levels generally repeat about every 10 years.

Date published: March 18, 2019

Mercury Concentrations in Lake Powell Higher in Side Canyons

Mercury concentrations within Lake Powell are highest in side canyons within the lower portion of the reservoir, according to a new U.S. Geological Survey report. This finding is part of a study to better understand why mercury concentrations in striped bass are higher in the lower part of the reservoir.

Publications

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Year Published: 2020

Quantifying trends in arsenic, nitrate, and dissolved solids from selected wells in Utah

Groundwater makes up a primary portion of the water supply in many parts of Utah, with annual withdrawals estimated at more than 1,000,000 acre-feet per year. Increases to groundwater withdrawal and land use may negatively impact water availability. Ensuring availability of clean water requires understanding how water quality has changed over time...

Miller, Olivia L.
Miller, O.L., 2020, Quantifying trends in arsenic, nitrate, and dissolved solids from selected wells in Utah: U.S. Geological Survey Scientific Investigations Report 2020–5047, 80 p., https://doi.org/10.3133/sir20205047.

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Year Published: 2020

Relating hydroclimatic change to streamflow, baseflow, and hydrologic partitioning in the Upper Rio Grande Basin, 1980 to 2015

Understanding how changing climatic conditions affect streamflow volume and timing is critical for effective water management. In the Rio Grande Basin of the southwest U.S., decreasing snowpack, increasing minimum temperatures, and decreasing streamflow have been observed in recent decades, but the effects of hydroclimatic changes on baseflow, or...

Rumsey, Christine; Miller, Matthew; Sexstone, Graham A.

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Year Published: 2020

Environmental tracer evidence for connection between shallow and bedrock aquifers and high intrinsic susceptibility to contamination of the conterminous U.S. glacial aquifer

Covering a large portion of the northern conterminous United States (1.87 x 106 km2), the glacial aquifer serves as the primary water supply for 39 million public and domestic water users. Mean groundwater age, groundwater age distribution, and susceptibility to land surface contamination, using a new metric (Susceptibility Index; SI) based on the...

Solder, John E.; Jurgens, Bryant; Stackelberg, Paul; Shope, Christopher L.