Groundwater Conditions in Utah

Science Center Objects

Small amounts of groundwater can be obtained from wells throughout most of Utah, but large amounts that are of suitable chemical quality for irrigation, public supply, or industrial use generally can be obtained only in specific ares. Most wells in Utah yield water from unconsolidated basin-fill deposits, and most are in intermountain basins that have been partly filled with rock materials eroded from adjacent mountains. A small percentage of wells in Utah yield water from consolidated-rock (bedrock) aquifers. Consolidated rocks that have the highest yields are basalt, which contains interconnected vesicular openings, fractures, or permeable weathered zones at the tops of lava flows: limestone, which contains fractures or other openings enlarged by solution; and sandstone, which may contain open fractures. Most wells that yield water from consolidated-rock aquifers are in the eastern and southern parts of the State in areas where water cannot be obtained readily from unconsolidated deposits.