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Hydrology of the Meadview Basin

Groundwater Hydrology

West Basins

The West basins include the Detrital Valley, Hualapai Valley, and Meadview basins, most of the Sacramento Valley Basin and part of the Bill Williams Basin.  Groundwater inflow and outflow are small and there is almost no stream baseflow.  These basins contain extensive areas of basin fill deposits that comprise the primary groundwater bearing unit (aquifer).

Meadview Basin

The relatively small Meadview Basin is characterized by a valley formed by Grapevine Wash in the north, and a highland area, Grapevine Mesa in the south. The basin floor slopes toward Lake Mead from an elevation of about 4,400 feet to 1,400 feet. The main aquifer occurs in the Muddy Creek Formation  which contains three units.  The upper limestone unit yields water to springs and shallow wells.  The middle sandstone unit has a high clay content that limits its ability to transmit water.  The lower unit is a conglomerate with high hydraulic conductivity.  Most well development has been in this lower unit.  Groundwater flow is from south to north, following Grapevine Wash.

Groundwater recharge is relatively small, about 4,000 AFA, due to low rainfall and high evaporation rates.  Groundwater discharge is to springs and a relatively small volume of municipal well pumpage.  Groundwater in storage is estimated at 1.0 maf or less. The median measured well yield is 33 gpm (Table 4.7-5). There is little water level monitoring in the basin. Available data show water levels as deep as 931 feet bls in the southern part of the basin and declines of more than 15 feet have been measured in a well in the vicinity of Meadview during the period 1990-91 and 2003-04 (Figure 4.7-6). Groundwater quality is generally good in the basin, with elevated concentrations of radionuclides measured primarily in or near granitic areas (ADEQ, 2005).

Click to view Table 4.7-5

Click to view Table 4.7-5 Groundwater Conditions in the

Meadview Basin

Click to view Figure 4.7-6

Click for Figure 4.7-6 Meadview Basin

Groundwater Conditions

 

Click to view Figure 4.0-5

Figure 4.0-5 Upper Colorado River USGS Watersheds

Surface Water Hydrology

The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) divides and subdivides the United States into successively smaller hydrologic units based on hydrologic features.  These units are classified into four levels. From largest to smallest these are: regions, subregions, accounting units and cataloging units.  A hydrologic unit code (HUC) consisting of two digits for each level in the system is used to identify any hydrologic area (Seaber et al., 1987). A 6-digit unit code corresponds to accounting units, which are used by the USGS for designing and managing the National Water Data Network. 

Lower Colorado- Lees Ferry to Lake Mead Watershed

The Lower Colorado River-Lees Ferry to Lake Mead watershed is located in the Western Plateau Planning Area and in the northern portion of the Upper Colorado River Planning Area.  Included within the Upper Colorado River Planning Area portion of the watershed are the Hualapai Valley and Meadview basins, almost all of the Detrital Valley Basin, all but the far eastern portion of the Peach Springs Basin and the northernmost part of the Big Sandy Basin.

The major north-flowing tributaries to the Colorado River in the Upper Colorado River Planning Area portion of the watershed are Hualapai Wash and Detrital Wash.  These washes are ephemeral and contribute little to the flow of the Colorado River.  The other major wash is Truxton Wash in the Peach Springs and Hualapai Valley basins, which flows north to Red Lake, a dry lake.  The Colorado River is the only perennial water supply in the part of the  watershed in the planning area.  There is only one intermittent stream, a portion of Truxton Wash, located in Peach Springs Basin (AZGF, 1997 & 1993).

Lake Mead, created by Hoover Dam, has affected groundwater conditions in adjacent basins in the watershed.  There is outflow from the lake into the surrounding aquifers.  Lake Mead extends from Hoover Dam in the Lake Mohave Basin, along the planning area boundary to Peach Springs Basin.  Maximum storage in Lake Mead is 29.7 maf.  Of this, approximately 2.38 maf is “dead storage” - the reservoir capacity from which stored water cannot be evacuated by gravity.  The average storage during the period from 1996 to 2005 was 20.3 maf. 

Hualapai Valley Red Lake

Red (Dry) Lake, Hualapai Valley Basin.  The Colorado River is the only perennial water supply in the portion of the Lower Colorado - Lees Ferry to Lake Mead Watershed in this planning Area.

Twenty-four major springs (springs with a measured discharge rate of 10 gpm or greater at any time) are found in the watershed, primarily located in the Peach Springs and Meadview basins. Generally, springs with the greatest discharge are located in the Hualapai Plateau in the Peach Springs Basin, where discharges of 1,730 gpm at Spencer Spring and 1,233 gpm at Meriwhitica Spring have been measured.  With the exception of a number of springs measured in the early 1990s, particularly in the Peach Springs Basin, most of the spring measurements were recorded over 30 years ago and may not reflect current conditions.  For example, recent discharge measurements taken at two “major” springs in the Peach Springs Basin were less than 10 gpm. (See Springs tables in each basin section.)

There is only one streamgage in the watershed at Spencer Creek near Peach Springs.  Median flows at this gage are about 1,500 AFA.

 

 

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