Riparian and aquatic ecosystems in semiarid landscapes like Southwest Wyoming contribute significantly to regional biodiversity. Long-term monitoring data that describe streamflow, surface-water quality, and groundwater levels are needed for assessing possible effects of changes in land use, land cover, and climate on those ecosystems. With WLCI funding, surface-water quality has been monitored at four sites, and groundwater levels have been monitored at one site. The monitoring sites were selected to provide baseline characterization of the upper Green River Basin and the Muddy Creek watershed. All data are collected according to USGS methods (Wagner and others, 2006; Kenney, 2010; Sauer and Turnipseed, 2010; Turnipseed and Sauer, 2010; U.S. Geological Survey, variously dated). This project helps to address the WLCI management need to develop an integrated inventory and monitoring strategy designed to evaluate overall effectiveness of WLCI on-the-ground habitat projects and support assessments of cumulative effects of change.
In FY2014, we decommissioned the existing groundwater-monitoring well near Rock Springs after collecting the 2014 data because the well was suspected of being affected by local irrigation activities, which would confound future interpretations of changes in water levels associated with energy development and (or) climate change. To replace that well, four new monitoring wells were drilled in September 2014 (one on each side of the river in the New Fork River alluvium and one each side of the river in the Green River alluvium) near the northwest and southwest Normally Pressured Lance boundaries, and water-level monitoring in those wells will commence in early 2015. The data collected from these wells will elucidate interactions between surface water and groundwater in the area’s shallow aquifers. Although it is known that the area’s shallow, near-stream aquifers supply water to nearby surface waters, the quantity of water supplied is unknown. Long-term data from these new wells will be crucial to understanding how groundwater contributes to streamflows in the Green River Basin, and they will be important for managing water resources of the basin as a whole. Any activity that impacts the groundwater has the 35 potential to impact surface waters as well. Understanding the relation between groundwater and surface water will help managers make informed decisions to mitigate impacts.
In FY2014, surface-water-quality data were collected at the four sites in the upper Green River Basin and Muddy Creek watershed, and groundwater-level data were collected at the now-decommissioned well in the Green River Basin. In cooperation with and funding from the State of Wyoming, BLM, and Bureau of Reclamation, additional surface-water-quality and quantity data were collected. Combined with WLCI monitoring data, these water-resources data support resource management and research in the WLCI study area and beyond.
Kenney, T.A., 2010, Levels at gaging stations: U.S. Geological Survey Techniques and Methods 3-A19, 60 p., at http://pubs.usgs.gov/tm/tm3A19/.
Sauer, V.B., and Turnipseed, D.P., 2010, Stage measurement at gaging stations: U.S. Geological Survey Techniques and Methods, book 3, chap. A7, 45 p., at http://pubs.usgs.gov/tm/tm3-a7/.
Turnipseed, D.P., and Sauer, V.B., 2010, Discharge measurements at gaging stations: U.S. Geological Survey Techniques and Methods, book 3, chap. A8, 87 p., at http://pubs.usgs.gov/tm/tm3-a8/.
U.S. Geological Survey, variously dated, National field manual for the collection of water-quality data: U.S. Geological Survey Techniques of Water-Resources Investigations, book 9, chaps., A1-A9, unpaged, at http://pubs.water.usgs.gov/twri9A.
Wagner, R.J., Boulger, R.W., Jr., Oblinger, C.J., and Smith, B.A., 2006, Guidelines and standard procedures for continuous water-quality monitors -- Station operation, record computation, and data reporting: U.S. Geological Survey Techniques and Methods 1-D3, 51 p. and 8 attachments, at http://pubs.water.usgs.gov/tm1d3.
Products Completed in FY2014
For all monitoring sites, preliminary real-time data were provided in FY2014, and final data were published in FY2015 through the USGS National Water Information System Web site at http://waterdata.usgs.gov/wy/nwis/ (individual reports listed below).Real-time data from the two new wells at http://wy-mt.water.usgs.gov/projects/GW_streamgaging/index.html
Products Completed in FY2011
Products Completed in 2008
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