Ground-water withdrawals by wells in the Great Basin Region were about 1.1 million acre-feet (1,360 cubic hectometres) in 1970. Most of these withdrawals were from 87 of the 234 hydrographic areas in the region. Withdrawals ranged from about 1,000 acre-feet (1.2 cubic hectometres) to more than 100,000 acre-feet (123 cubic hectometres). Jordan Valley, which includes Salt Lake City, had the largest withdrawal, about 115,000 acre-feet (142 cubic hectometres).
An appraisal of the regional ground-water resource indicates the region could sustain an annual net pumpage of about 2.6 million acre-feet (3,200 cubic hectometres). Larger withdrawals could be sustained if only part of the pumped water was used consumptively, if conflicts with existing surface-water rights are resolved, and if extensive treatment, artificial recharge, and reuse of water prove feasible. Ground water stored in the upper 100 feet (30 metres) of saturated deposits of the valley ground-water reservoirs is estimated to be on the order of 300 million acre-feet (370,000 cubic hectometres). Total ground-water storage probably exceeds several billion acre-feet; however, much of this could not be developed within economic feasibility expected over the next several decades.
Only a few areas of the Great Basin Region have been studied in detail sufficient to enable adequate design of an areawide groundwater development. These areas already have been developed. As of 1973 data for broadly outlining the ground-water resources of the region had been obtained. However, if large-scale planned development is to become a reality, a program for obtaining adequate hydrologic and related data would be a prerequisite. Ideally, the data should be obtained in time to be available for the successively more intensive levels of planning required to implement developments.
Summary appraisals of the nation's ground-water resources – Great Basin region