Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Do you live on the Wasatch Fault.

Check out his video put together by the Utah Geological Survey. Do you live on the fault?

Thursday, September 11, 2008

More on Snake Valley

Below is a link to more articles on the Snake Valley Carbonate Aquifer issues.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

More on Snake Valley

Who should get water from the carbonate aquifer on the Utah / Nevada Border.
Snake Valley Article Deseret News
Still waiting for the issue of mining the water to be addressed as well as which state the water belongs to.

Saturday, June 7, 2008

Understanding the Types of Aquifers in the West

Where does your water come from when you turn on your tap. In the Utah and in most western states or more of the water is sourced from groundwater. This means that it is likely that the water is sourced from one of the following aquifers; unconsolidated valley fill, basin fill deposits, sandstone, and carbonate rocks. The link below gives more detail into the types of aquifers.

Aquifer Type

Creative Use of Water Rights?????

Below is a link to a story in the Salt Lake Tribune regarding a creative use of water rights and wet water.

This story demonstrates what a tough job Jerry Olds has.

Saturday, May 17, 2008

How full is your reservior?

Below is a link to the current reservoir levels along the Wasatch Front.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Mining Groundwater

Mining groundwater or aquifer overdraft is a serious problems in the West. Some Cities (and farming areas)in the west are already experiencing problems associated with overdraft including the need to deepen wells, land subsidence, and poorer water quality being extracted. Examples of some cites with overdraft issues are Denver, Las Vegas, and Tucson. In Utah the farming area of Beryl has experienced similar problems leading to restrictions in withdrawals and a stricter water right policy (
Below are the definitions of overdraft and subsidence.

Groundwater is a highly useful and often abundant resource, however over-use or overdraft can cause major problems to human users and to the environment. The most evident problem (as far as human groundwater use is concerned) is a lowering of the water table beyond the reach of existing wells. Wells must consequently be deepened to reach the groundwater; in some places (e.g., California, Texas and India) the water table has dropped hundreds of feet due to excessive well pumping. A lowered water table may, in turn, cause other problems such as subsidence and saltwater intrusion.

Groundwater is also ecologically important. The importance of groundwater to ecosystems is often overlooked, even by freshwater biologists and ecologists. Groundwaters sustain rivers, wetlands and lakes, as well as subterranean ecosystems within karst or alluvial aquifers.

Not all ecosystems need groundwater, of course. Some terrestrial ecosystems, for example those of the open deserts and similar arid environments, exist on irregular rainfall and the moisture it delivers to the soil – supplemented by moisture in the air. While there are other terrestrial ecosystems in more hospitable environments where groundwater plays no central role, groundwater is in fact fundamental to many of the world’s major ecosystems. Water flows between groundwaters and surface waters. Most rivers, lakes and wetlands are fed by, and (at other places or times) feed groundwater – to varying degrees. Groundwater feeds soil moisture through percolation, and many terrestrial vegetation communities depend directly on either groundwater or the percolated soil moisture above the aquifer – for at least part of each year. Hypoheic zones (the mixing zone of streamwater and groundwater) and riparian zones are examples of ecotones largely or totally dependent on groundwater.

When we extract groundwater linked to a river system, we extract water from that river, even if the result is not evident for some time. And of course vice versa. Water management agencies around the world are still struggling to come to terms with this simple fact. See Kansas Geological Survey.

In its natural equilibrium state, the hydraulic pressure of groundwater in the pore spaces of the aquifer and the aquitard supports some of the weight of the overlying sediments. When groundwater is removed from aquifers, due to excessive pumping, pore pressures

Friday, May 2, 2008

More on Snake Valley

Below is a link to the Utah Division of Water Rights information on the Snake Valley Carbonate Aquifer project.

What an Installed Well Looks Like

Ever Wonder what the inside of a well looks like. Photo to the right is of a 10 inch stainless steel wire wrap screen at a depth of 352 feet.

The photo below is a side view of the same well. Note the build-up on the screen and the gravel-pack visiable through the screen.

Pump and Well Corrosion and Importance of Routine Maintenance

The above photo was taken of a pump that had been in a city well for about 12 years. The pump was actually running up until the week prior to failure. The city was very lucky this pump did not break in half in the well and leave part of the pump wedged in the well. This type of problem is unfortunately routine, but can be prevented by a maintenance program. Depending on use and environment when a pump is first installed in a well a set of parameters needs to be set up, monitored, and reviewed on a regular basis.

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Winter Snow Pack

Will it ever stop snowing??? A dedicated field hand measrues the snow at a spring in the Mt. Holly area above Beaver.

Though it feels like a very heavy snow year, we have several years of drought before this year so there is a lot of catching up to do. We also need to keep in mind that each year the population that the "average precipitation year" needs to supply more and more people. In the Salt Lake Valley, the Jordan Valley Water Conservancy District has estimated that the average precipitation year will only supply the Wasatch front for another 20 to 30 years depending on how successful conservation efforts are. Try to keep this in mind when planning your new or old home and your landscaping.
The State of Utah's water supply outlook can be found at this link.

Water Conservation Ideas

What are the top five things you can do to conserve water in your home?
1. Stop Those Leaks!
2. Replace your old Toilet, the largest water user inside your home.
3. Replace your Clothes Washer, the second largest water user in your home.
4. Plant the Right Plants with Proper Landscape Design & Irrigation
5. Water Only What Your Plants Need
More on these actions and other ideas for water conservation form this website:

I am currently looking at what to replant in my new (new to me) home. More on this as the snow melts.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Planet in Peril

On CNN’s Planet in Peril last night, there was a special on water contamination for an Iron Mine into a river that villages downstream depended on for a water supply and for growing rice. The contamination is possibly linked to high cancer rates in the villages downstream.

I was watching it with a friend that was amazed the Chinese government and world would let something like that happen. What came to mind were the similar recent situations in the United States.
The Iron Mountain Mine in Northern California (30 miles from where I grew up) is located at the headwaters of the Sacramento River, a major agricultural water supply.

And closer to where I live now, from 1965 to 1989 Kennecott Utah Copper discharged (leaked) 4 million gallons of similar quality water a day into the aquifer that is shared by several municipalities in the southwest Salt Lake County.

Discharge of such waters was common practice in the Untied States up until the 1970’s and 1980’s.

Mining companies in the US including Kennecott Utah Copper currently have very aggressive environmental programs to not only clean up the problems from the past and pro-active programs to keep from creating new environmental issues. Hopefully mining companies in China will follow the lead set by mines in the US.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Private Well Water Protection

Do you live in a rural area and have your own private well and septic system. Remember that everything that goes into your toilet, sink, or shower drain ends up in the water table you or your neighbors pump from. As well in rural areas one should be careful about household hazardous wastes and chemicals used on lawns.
Below are some of the Utah Division of Drinking Waters fact sheets on each of these issues. These sheets were put together for protection zones for Public Water Systems but work in rural areas where the aquifer is shared by neighbors as well.

USGS Work on Basin and Range Carbonate Rock Aquifer System

Below is a link to the work being done on the Basin and Range Carbonate Rock Aquifer System (BARCAS) by the USGS.

Below is NPR story on same study area.

Water Resources In the Great Basin Carbonate Aquifer

For those of you following the ongoing proposed extraction of water from the carbonate aquifer resource for the Utah-Nevada border in the Snake Valley area, this link will keep you posted on the Utah Geological Surveys study of the area, .

The carbonate aquifer groundwater resource of Utah, Nevada, and Idaho is a very important renewable source and the need for a proper evaluation of the resource and recharge is critical. Having drilled hundreds of holes and mapped miles of underground workings in this aquifer in the 1980’s during gold exploration programs, I am very familiar with the inconsistencies of the aquifer. In one area there may be large solution cavities, in others three may be only a few gallons per minute hundreds of feet into the aquifer.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Due-Diligence on private wells

Buying a property with a private well?

You should consider conducting a due-diligence on the well, water quality, and water
rights. There are many properties on the market that have serious issues with water rights and water quality. Below is a summary of what you should look for when purchasing a home with a private well.

Water Rights
With water rights in some areas costing as much as $15,000 and acre-foot (an acre-foot is the typical volume of water required for one homes domestic use and a quarter acre of landscaping), it is best to be sure that the right is in good standing with the State Division of Water Rights. Approximately 70% of the private water rights I evaluate in rural (and occasionally urban) areas are either in poor standing or not valid at all. It is common to find a Water Right in Lapsed, Unapproved, or Rejected status for private wells, all of which are not what you want on a property you are purchasing (or selling).

Water Quality
I have been surprised by the number of private wells that have tested positive for coliform bacteria. This is usually an issue that is easily remedied, but in some cases the actual water supplying the well contains the coliform, which requires treatment of the water prior to either consumption or bathing in.
Depending on the area the well is in, other water quality issues should be addressed such as:
Depth to water
Proximity to septic systems
Proximity to agricultural areas
Location of screen in well (the screen I the part of the well that the water actually enters the well)
All potential contamination sources near the well should be evaluated and the well should be sampled accordingly.

Well Construction
If available, the well log should be looked at and evaluated. If there are any signs of sand in the water this could lead to a issue with wear on well pumps and plumbing. The same goes for any signs of large amounts of rust in the water system. Current typical costs for a replacement well are $40,000 and up depending on the depth of the well

Sunday, January 27, 2008

H-B 51, Water Right Forfeiture Protection-

For those of you following H-B 51, Water Right Forfeiture Protection, the following link may be used to follow the progress.

This bill could have an effect on everyone from municipalities, to developers, to the price you are paying for your new home in Utah. Though is addressing some of the issues with paper water in Utah, there are still many issues we need to address with wet water.

Below are the current highlighted provisions of the Bill:

General Description:

This bill protects specific entities from forfeiture of water rights for nonuse

Highlighted Provisions:

This bill: defines terms;

16 changes the nonuse period of a water right from five to seven years;

17 clarifies the forfeiture procedure;

18 allows a person that owns stock in a water company to file a nonuse application;

19 protects a water right from forfeiture if:

20 a public water supplier holds the water for the reasonable future water

21 requirement of the public;

22 the land where the water is used is under a fallowing program;

23 the water is stored in an aquifer; and

24 another water source is available for the beneficial use;

25 establishes how the reasonable future water requirement of the public are

26 determined; and

27 makes technical changes


Welcome to my Cascade Water Blog!

Here you will find the latest news, and updates on my company, my projects, and much more. Also, useful links and information will be updated weekly!