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Estimates of consumptive use and ground-water return flow using water budgets in Parker Valley, Arizona and California, 1981-84

January 1, 1994

Annual water budgets were used to estimate consumptive use by vegetation and groundwater return flow in Parker Valley, Arizona and California. Consumptive use by vegetation was estimated to be 482,800 acre-ft in 1981, 432,000 acre-ft in 1982, 413,500 acre-ft in 1983, and 420,900 acre-ft in 1984 on the Arizona side of the Colorado River, and 45,400 acre-ft in 1984 on the California side of the river. Groundwater return flow from the area north of Tyson Wash in Arizona was estimated to be 0 acre-ft in 1981, 1983, and 1984 and 1,900 acre-ft in 1982. Water budget estimates of consumptive use by vegetation were compared to estimates of evapotranspiration. Estimates of evapotranspiration were from 1% less to 9% higher than estimates of consumptive use by vegetation in the area north of Tyson Wash. The percentage differences in the two estimates were within the measurement errors of the two major measured components in the water budget regardless of differences in year-to-year conditions. Estimates of consumptive use of Colorado River water calculated as measured diversions minus return flows were consistently lower than estimates of consumptive use by vegetation. Estimates of consumptive use of Colorado River water were from 18 to 37% lower than estimates of consumptive use by vegetation variations in tributary inflow, river stage, and induced seepage from the river to replace groundwater transpired by phreatophytes are not accounted for in the calculation. (USGS)

Citation Information

Publication Year 1988
Title Estimates of consumptive use and ground-water return flow using water budgets in Parker Valley, Arizona and California, 1981-84
DOI 10.3133/wri884063
Authors Sandra J. Owen-Joyce
Publication Type Report
Publication Subtype USGS Numbered Series
Series Title Water-Resources Investigations Report
Series Number 88-4063
Index ID wri884063
Record Source USGS Publications Warehouse