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Current Studies

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Groundwater Conditions in Utah

Since 1964, the U.S. Geological Survey, the Utah Department of Natural Resources, Division of Water Rights, and the Utah Department of Environmental Quality, Division of Water Quality have cooperatively published an annual report describing groundwater conditions in Utah. The annual paper reports provided data that enabled interested parties to maintain awareness of changing groundwater conditions...
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Groundwater Conditions in Utah

Since 1964, the U.S. Geological Survey, the Utah Department of Natural Resources, Division of Water Rights, and the Utah Department of Environmental Quality, Division of Water Quality have cooperatively published an annual report describing groundwater conditions in Utah. The annual paper reports provided data that enabled interested parties to maintain awareness of changing groundwater conditions...
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Great Salt Lake Elevations and Areal Extent

Great Salt Lake is unique among lakes in the Western Hemisphere because of its size and salt content. It occupies a low part of the desert area of western Utah and is a terminal lake with no outlet to the sea. It varies considerably in size, depending on its surface elevation. At an elevation of 4,200 feet above sea level, it covers approximately 1, 700 square miles and contains about 16 million...
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Great Salt Lake Elevations and Areal Extent

Great Salt Lake is unique among lakes in the Western Hemisphere because of its size and salt content. It occupies a low part of the desert area of western Utah and is a terminal lake with no outlet to the sea. It varies considerably in size, depending on its surface elevation. At an elevation of 4,200 feet above sea level, it covers approximately 1, 700 square miles and contains about 16 million...
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Quantifying Nutrient Mass and Internal Cycling in Great Salt Lake

The Great Salt Lake (GSL) is an indispensable economic and ecological resource. It provides critical habitat and food for millions of migratory birds, and generates nearly $200 million per year from recreational activities and the brine shrimp harvest industry (Bioeconomics, 2012). These uses, habitat and aquaculture, rely on a balanced supply of nutrients in the Great Salt Lake to support...
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Quantifying Nutrient Mass and Internal Cycling in Great Salt Lake

The Great Salt Lake (GSL) is an indispensable economic and ecological resource. It provides critical habitat and food for millions of migratory birds, and generates nearly $200 million per year from recreational activities and the brine shrimp harvest industry (Bioeconomics, 2012). These uses, habitat and aquaculture, rely on a balanced supply of nutrients in the Great Salt Lake to support...
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General Information, Facts, News, Publications and Partners

The western part of the conterminous United States is often thought of as being a desert without any large bodies of water. In the desert area of western Utah, however, lies Great Salt Lake, which in 1986, at its highest level, covered approximately 2,300 square miles and contained 30 million acre-feet of water (an acre-foot is the amount of water necessary to cover 1 acre of land with water 1...
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General Information, Facts, News, Publications and Partners

The western part of the conterminous United States is often thought of as being a desert without any large bodies of water. In the desert area of western Utah, however, lies Great Salt Lake, which in 1986, at its highest level, covered approximately 2,300 square miles and contained 30 million acre-feet of water (an acre-foot is the amount of water necessary to cover 1 acre of land with water 1...
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Bear Lake Water Quality

Bear Lake, located approximately 50 kilometers (km) northeast of Logan, Utah, straddles the Utah-Idaho border and is nestled in a graben valley between the Bear Lake Plateau on the east and the Bear River Range on the west (Reheis and others, 2009). Its calcium carbonate type water is a brilliant green-blue color that, in combination with sandy beaches and easy access, draws thousands of visitors...
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Bear Lake Water Quality

Bear Lake, located approximately 50 kilometers (km) northeast of Logan, Utah, straddles the Utah-Idaho border and is nestled in a graben valley between the Bear Lake Plateau on the east and the Bear River Range on the west (Reheis and others, 2009). Its calcium carbonate type water is a brilliant green-blue color that, in combination with sandy beaches and easy access, draws thousands of visitors...
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Lake Powell Coring

In response to the August 5, 2015, Gold King Mine Spill from the Bonita Peak Mining District that resulted in the release of three-million gallons of mine-impacted waters, the Utah Water Science Center, in partnership with the Utah Division of Water Quality, National Park Service, and U.S. Bureau of Reclamation, cored the San Juan and Colorado River deltas in multiple locations in Lake Powell...
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Lake Powell Coring

In response to the August 5, 2015, Gold King Mine Spill from the Bonita Peak Mining District that resulted in the release of three-million gallons of mine-impacted waters, the Utah Water Science Center, in partnership with the Utah Division of Water Quality, National Park Service, and U.S. Bureau of Reclamation, cored the San Juan and Colorado River deltas in multiple locations in Lake Powell...
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Colorado Plateau Regional Groundwater Availability

Study goals This project seeks to quantify the status of groundwater as an integrated resource with surface water in the arid and semiarid region of the Colorado Plateau principal aquifer system. Surface-water resources that originate in this region are over allocated and serve 35 million people, 4.5 million acres of farmland, and are used to generate 12 billion kilowatt hours of electricity in...
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Colorado Plateau Regional Groundwater Availability

Study goals This project seeks to quantify the status of groundwater as an integrated resource with surface water in the arid and semiarid region of the Colorado Plateau principal aquifer system. Surface-water resources that originate in this region are over allocated and serve 35 million people, 4.5 million acres of farmland, and are used to generate 12 billion kilowatt hours of electricity in...
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Salinity

Studies of Sources and Transport of Dissolved Solids (Salt) in the Colorado River Basin using the Spatially Referenced Regressions on Watershed Attributes (SPARROW) Model The Upper Colorado River Basin (UCRB) encompasses about 112,000 mi2 and discharges more than 6 million tons of dissolved solids (salt) annually to the lower Colorado River Basin. It has been estimated that between 32 and 45...
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Salinity

Studies of Sources and Transport of Dissolved Solids (Salt) in the Colorado River Basin using the Spatially Referenced Regressions on Watershed Attributes (SPARROW) Model The Upper Colorado River Basin (UCRB) encompasses about 112,000 mi2 and discharges more than 6 million tons of dissolved solids (salt) annually to the lower Colorado River Basin. It has been estimated that between 32 and 45...
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Baseflow

The Colorado River has been identified as the most overallocated river in the world. Considering predicted future imbalances between water supply and demand and the growing recognition that base flow (a proxy for groundwater discharge to streams) is critical for sustaining flow in streams and rivers, there is a need to develop methods to better quantify present-day base flow across large regions...
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Baseflow

The Colorado River has been identified as the most overallocated river in the world. Considering predicted future imbalances between water supply and demand and the growing recognition that base flow (a proxy for groundwater discharge to streams) is critical for sustaining flow in streams and rivers, there is a need to develop methods to better quantify present-day base flow across large regions...
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Managed Aquifer Recharge

Sand Hollow Reservoir in Washington County, Utah, was completed in March 2002 and is operated for both surface-water storage and managed aquifer recharge via infiltration from surface basin spreading to the underlying Navajo Sandstone. From 2002 through 2014, about 216,000 acre-feet were diverted from the Virgin River to Sand Hollow Reservoir, and about 127,000 acre-feet of water seeped beneath...
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Managed Aquifer Recharge

Sand Hollow Reservoir in Washington County, Utah, was completed in March 2002 and is operated for both surface-water storage and managed aquifer recharge via infiltration from surface basin spreading to the underlying Navajo Sandstone. From 2002 through 2014, about 216,000 acre-feet were diverted from the Virgin River to Sand Hollow Reservoir, and about 127,000 acre-feet of water seeped beneath...
Learn More