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Summary of climatic, geographic, geologic, and available hydrologic data and identification of data gaps for the Black Bear Creek watershed of the Pawnee Nation Tribal Jurisdictional Area, Oklahoma

June 18, 2019

The Pawnee Nation is compiling a comprehensive water-management plan for the Pawnee Nation Tribal Jurisdictional Area in north-central Oklahoma. One of the first steps needed in preparing such a plan is a summary and analysis of available hydrologic data and reports that have been published for the area. In phase I of a three-phase, watershed-based approach to summary and analysis of water resources of the Pawnee Nation, the U.S. Geological Survey, in cooperation with the Pawnee Nation and Bureau of Indian Affairs, conducted a literature search and data analysis for the Black Bear Creek watershed within the Pawnee Nation Tribal Jurisdictional Area, referred to herein as the “Black Bear Creek study area.” This report summarizes the available data for the Black Bear Creek study area.

Climatic, geographic, geologic, water-use, and hydrologic data from previously published reports or databases were collected and analyzed for this report. Because of the limited amount of groundwater-quality data for the study area, a field collection of groundwater levels and water samples was conducted. Sixteen wells were identified, and groundwater levels were measured at each well. Eight wells were sampled, and water properties, major ions, and nutrients were measured.

Overall, there are few long-term monitoring stations to help determine trends of surface-water quality, groundwater quality, and groundwater levels across the study area. Establishing and maintaining long-term streamflow, surface-water-quality, groundwater-level, and groundwater-quality monitoring sites would greatly increase the understanding of the water resources in the Black Bear Creek study area. Additionally, water-use estimates would be greatly improved by metering groundwater withdrawals. Establishing hydrologic and water-quality trends and having improved estimates of water use can aid decision makers in the stewardship of the water resources in this area.

This report can aid the Pawnee Nation in prioritization of future projects and serve as a background document for the development of a jurisdiction-wide comprehensive water-management plan.

Citation Information

Publication Year 2019
Title Summary of climatic, geographic, geologic, and available hydrologic data and identification of data gaps for the Black Bear Creek watershed of the Pawnee Nation Tribal Jurisdictional Area, Oklahoma
DOI 10.3133/sir20195043
Authors Matthew S. Varonka
Publication Type Report
Publication Subtype USGS Numbered Series
Series Title Scientific Investigations Report
Series Number 2019-5043
Index ID sir20195043
Record Source USGS Publications Warehouse
USGS Organization Oklahoma Water Science Center