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Hydrologic conditions in the Bill Williams River National Wildlife Refuge and Planet Valley, Arizona, 2000

September 1, 2002

During a period of sustained base-flow conditions in the Bill Williams River below Alamo Dam in west central Arizona from March to July 2000, the channel of the river through Planet Valley was dry, and the water table sloped almost due west parallel to the main slope of the flood plain. Water from the river infiltrated into the channel bottom at the head of Planet Valley, moved downgradient in the subsurface, and reappeared in the channel about 0.3 mile downstream from the east boundary of the Bill Williams River National Wildlife Refuge. A river aquifer in hydraulic connection with the Bill Williams River was mapped from a point 6.3 miles upstream from Highway 95 to the upstream end of Planet Valley. Formations that make up the river aquifer in Planet Valley are younger alluvium, older alluviums, and fanglomerate. Total thickness of the river aquifer probably is less than 200 feet in the bedrock canyons to as much as 1,035 feet in Planet Valley. The purpose of this study was to investigate the current hydrologic conditions along the Bill Williams River, which included an inventory of wells within the river aquifer of the Colorado River and in Planet Valley, and to determine the configuration of the water table. A map shows the elevation and configuration of the water table from the east end of Planet Valley to the confluence of the Bill Williams River with Lake Havasu.