The availability of ground water for irrigation in the Rice Lake-Eau Claire Area, Wisconsin
An abundance of ground water of excellent chemical quality for irrigating crops is available from glacial outwash sand and gravel and from the underlying sandstones in the Rice Lake-Eau Claire area.
Thick deposits of glacial outwash sand and gravel in the valleys of the Red Cedar and lower Chippewa Rivers yield more than 1,000 gallons per minute (63 lit res per second) to many wells. Large tracts of irrigable soils, delineated in two subareas (Rice Lake and Cameron) in Barron County and one subarea (Menomonie) in Dunn County, lie within the outwash plains where ground water is available in large quantities. Yields are especially large in the Rice Lake and Cameron subareas where the sand and gravel is highly permeable and the thickness of saturated aquifer exceeds 250 feet (75 metres). Yields generally are less than 1,000 gallons per minute (63 litres per second) in the Menomonie subarea where large amounts of clay locally reduce the permeability of the aquifer and the thickness of saturated aquifer is less than 200 feet (60 metres).
Adequate water for irrigation is available also from sandstone underlying the glacial outwash plains. Because the two aquifers generally are connected hydraulically, wells penetrating the sandstone also withdraw water indirectly from the glacial drift. Most irrigation wells in Barron County withdraw water from glacial outwash; more than half the irrigation wells in Dunn County withdraw water from sandstone.
In most years, recharge to the ground-water reservoir is 6 to 8 inches (150 to 200 millimetres), which is more than ample to sustain pumping for irrigation without lowering the water table significantly.
Ground water in the area is a calcium bicarbonate water that ranges in dissolved-solids concentration from 35 to 330 milligrams per litre. Concentrations of sodium and' boron are very low.
|The availability of ground water for irrigation in the Rice Lake-Eau Claire Area, Wisconsin
|E.A. Bell, S. M. Hindall
|State or Local Government Series
|Wisconsin Geological & Natural History Survey Information Circular
|USGS Publications Warehouse