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Groundwater Conditions in the Tonto Creek Basin

Major aquifers, well yields, estimated natural recharge, estimated water in storage, number of index wells and date of last water-level sweep are shown in Table 5.3-6.  Figure 5.3-7 shows aquifer flow direction and water-level change between 1990-1991 and 2003-2004.  Figure 5.3-8 contains hydrographs for selected wells shown on Figure 5.3-7.  Figure 5.3-9 shows well yields in five yield categories. A description of aquifer data sources and methods as well as well data sources and methods, including water-level changes and well yields are found in Volume 1, Appendix A. 

Major Aquifers

  • Refer to Table 5.3-6 and Figure 5.3-7.
  • The major aquifers in the basin are basin fill and sedimentary rock (C and R aquifers).

  • Most of the basin geology consists of consolidated crystalline and sedimentary rocks.

  • Flow direction is generally from the north to the south.

Well Yields

  • Refer to Table 5.3-6 and Figure 5.3-9.
  • As shown on Figure 5.3-9, well yields in this basin range from less than 100 gallons per minute (gpm) to greater than 2,000 gpm.

  • One source of well yield information, based on 51 reported wells, indicates that the median well yield in this basin is 120 gpm.

  • The highest well yields in the basin are located along Highway 188 north of Punkin Center.

Natural Recharge

  • Refer to Table 5.3-6.
  • Natural recharge estimates for this basin range from 17,000 acre-feet per year to 37,000 acre-feet per year.

Recharge Sites

  • Refer to Figure 5.3-7 .
  • There is one permitted recharge facility in this basin, ADOT-Payson (permit no. 71-579155.0001), that recharges surface water to the aquifer. 
  • Under the permit the facility’s maximum annual storage is 150 acre-feet.

Water in Storage

  • Refer to Table 5.3-6.
  • Storage estimates for this basin range from 2.0 million acre-feet (maf) to 9.4maf to a depth of 1,200 feet.

Water Level

  • Refer to Figure 5.3-7. Water levels are shown for wells measured in 2003-2004.
  • The Department annually measures 13 index wells in this basin.  Hydrographs for three of these wells are shown in Figure 5.3-8
  • There is one ADWR automated water-level recording device in this basin located near Star Valley.
  • The deepest recorded water level in the basin is 106 feet east of Kohls Ranch and the shallowest is 14 feet near Punkin Center.

Click to view Table 5.3-6

Click for Table 5.3-6 Groundwater Data for the

Tonto Creek Basin

Click to view Figure 5.3-7

Click for Figure 5.3-7 Tonto Creek Basin

Groundwater Conditions

Click to view Figure 5.3-8

Click for Figure 5.3-8 Tonto Creek Basin Hydrographs Showing Depth to Water in Selected Wells

Click to view Figure 5.3-9

Click for Figure 5.3-9 Tonto Creek Basin Well Yields


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References and Supplemental Reading for the Tonto Creek Basin

Colorado River Central Highlands Planning Area Download entire Central Highlands Planning Area Atlas in pdf Forest Ponderosa forest