Urban areas commonly rely on ground water for at least part of the municipal water supply, and as population increases, urban areas expand and require larger volumes of water. However, the expansion of an urban area can reduce ground-water availability. This may occur through processes of depletion (withdrawal of most of the available ground water), degradation (chemicals used in the urban area seep into the ground and contaminate the ground water), and preemption (cost or restrictions on pumping ground water from under extensively urbanized areas may be prohibitive). Thus, a vital natural resource needed to support the growth of an urban area and its infrastructure can become less available because of growth itself.
The diminished availability of natural resources caused by expansion of urban areas is not unique to water resources. For example, large volumes of aggregate (sand and gravel) are used in concrete and asphalt to build and maintain the infrastructure (buildings, roads, airports, and so forth) of an urban area. Yet, mining of aggregate commonly is preempted by urban expansion; for example, it cannot be mined from under a subdivision. Energy resources such as coal, oil, and natural gas likewise are critical to the growth and existence of an urban area but may become less available as an urban area expands and preempts mining and drilling.
In 1996, the U.S. Geological Survey began work on a national initiative designed to provide information on the availability of those natural resources (water, minerals, energy, and biota) that are critical to maintaining the Nation's infrastructure or that may become less available because of urban expansion. The initiative began with a 3-year demonstration project to develop procedures for assessing resources and methods for interpreting and publishing information in digital and traditional paper formats. The Front Range urban corridor of Colorado was chosen as the demonstration area (fig. 1), and the project was titled the Front Range Infrastructure Resources Project (FRIRP). This report and those of Robson (1996), Robson and others (1998), and Robson and others (2000a, 2000b, 2000c) are the results of FRIRP water-resources investigations; reports pertaining to geology, minerals, energy, biota, and cartography of the FRIRP are published separately. The water resources studies of the FRIRP were undertaken in cooperation with the Colorado Department of Natural Resources, Division of Water Resources, and the Colorado Water Conservation Board.
|Title||Geohydrology of the shallow aquifers in the Fort Lupton-Gilcrest area, Colorado|
|Authors||Stanley G. Robson, Janet S. Heiny, L. R. Arnold|
|Publication Subtype||USGS Numbered Series|
|Series Title||Hydrologic Atlas|
|Record Source||USGS Publications Warehouse|