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Hydrology of the Paria Basin

The geologic structure of the Paria Basin is typical of the Colorado Plateau with a gently-sloping sequence of limestone, sandstone and shale formations. The principal aquifer is the N-aquifer composed of Navajo Sandstone and the Kayenta and Moenave formations.  In places on the Paria Plateau, precipitation collects in sand deposits in limited quantities and may be recovered from shallow wells (Bush and Lane, 1980).  Groundwater movement is generally from south to north with discharge at springs in Paria River Canyon.  Some groundwater moves south toward the Vermilion Cliffs, which form the southern basin boundary.  An annual natural recharge rate is not available for the basin. Groundwater in storage is estimated at 1.5 maf.

Little groundwater development has occurred with only 12 wells registered in the basin.  Department data indicate well yields ranging from 30 to 1,400 gpm with a median well yield of 520 gpm for three large diameter (>10gpm) wells. The two largest yields come from wells completed in sedimentary rocks.  Water levels in basin wells are relatively deep, ranging from about 480 feet to 1,500 feet bls.  Arsenic concentrations above the drinking water standard have been measured at a number of wells in the Wahweap area (see Table 6.3-7).

Click to view Table 6.4-4

Click for Table 6.4-4 Groundwater Data for the Paria Basin


Wahweap, Paria Basin.  Little groundwater development has occurred in this basin.



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Wahweap Glen Canyon Bridge