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USGS Releases Groundwater-Level Contour Maps for the Harney Basin, Oregon

June 14, 2021

Groundwater-level contour maps from a groundwater-availability study of the Harney Basin are now available. These results are important for understanding the status of groundwater resources in the basin and how they might respond to future demand.

In response to substantial groundwater development in the Harney Basin in Oregon over the last 30 years, the U.S. Geological Survey and the Oregon Water Resources Department conducted a groundwater-availability study that had two main goals. The first was to assess the ability of the groundwater resources in this basin to sustain existing uses and to accommodate additional development. The second goal was to estimate the extent to which future demand would impact the groundwater availability. The results from this study also helped show the interconnectedness of the hydrologic system throughout the basin which, up to now, was not well understood. The data release for this study contains shallow and deep potentiometric-surface maps that represent manually developed 5-, 10-, and 500-ft contours for the Harney Basin groundwater system during February–March of 2018. These maps are important for understanding groundwater-flow directions and for identifying the areas of largest groundwater-level declines.