Plans to import water to Juab Valley, Utah, primarily for irrigation, are part of the Central Utah Project. A better understanding of the hydrology of the valley is needed to help manage the water resources and to develop conjunctive-use plans.
The saturated unconsolidated basin-fill deposits form the ground-water system in Juab Valley. Recharge is by seepage from streams, unconsumed irrigation water, and distribution systems; infiltration of precipitation; and subsurface inflow from consolidated rocks that surround the valley. Discharge is by wells, springs, seeps, evapotranspiration, and subsurface outflow to consolidated rocks. Ground-water pumpage is used to supplement surface water for irrigation in most of the valley and has altered the direction of groundwater flow from that of pre-ground-water development time in areas near and in Nephi and Levan.
Greater-than-average precipitation during 1980-87 corresponds with a rise in water levels measured in most wells in the valley and the highest water level measured in some wells. Less-than average precipitation during 1988-91 corresponds with a decline in water levels measured during 1988-93 in most wells. Geochemical analyses indicate that the sources of dissolved ions in water sampled from the southern part of the valley are the Arapien Shale, evaporite deposits that occur in the unconsolidated basin-fill deposits, and possibly residual sea water that has undergone evaporation in unconsolidated basin-fill deposits in selected areas. Water discharging from a spring at Burriston Ponds is a mixture of about 70 percent ground water from a hypothesized flow path that extends downgradient from where Salt Creek enters Juab Valley and 30 percent from a hypothesized flow path from the base of the southern Wasatch Range.
The ground-water system of Juab Valley was simulated by using the U.S. Geological Survey modular, three-dimensional, finite-difference, ground-water flow model. The numerical model was calibrated to simulate the steady-state conditions of 1949, multi-year transient-state conditions during 1949-92, and seasonal transient-state conditions during 1992-94. Calibration parameters were adjusted until model-computed water levels reasonably matched measured water levels. Parameters important to the calibration process include horizontal hydraulic conductivity, transmissivity, and the spatial distribution and amount of recharge from subsurface inflow and seepage from ephemeral streams to the east side of Juab Valley.