• Chemical and Biological Problems in the Grand Canyon

      Department of Hydrology and Water Resources, University of Arizona, Tucson, Arizona (Arizona-Nevada Academy of Science, 1973-05-05)
      A survey of chemical and bacteriological water quality in the Grand Canyon was undertaken to assess possible health hazards to river travelers. The water quality of the main Colorado River channel is relatively stable with only slight increases in ionic concentration and bacteriological load with respect to distance from Lee Ferry and time over the summer season. The tributary streams show extreme temporal variability in chemical water quality and bacteriological contamination as a result of the summer rain and flood patterns in the tributary canyons. These side streams pose a definite health hazard to unwary river travelers. More extensive sampling is called for to determine the sources of this contamination and to protect the quality of the Grand Canyon experience.
    • Groundwater Recharge from a Portion of the Santa Catalina Mountains

      Belan, R. A.; Matlock, W. G.; Soils, Water and Engineering Department, The University of Arizona, Tucson (Arizona-Nevada Academy of Science, 1973-05-05)
      The geohydrology of a portion of the Santa Catalina Mountains including the definition of aquifer systems in the foothills was studied in order to calculate groundwater recharge to the Tucson basin. This underlying groundwater aquifer is the only source of Tucson, Arizona's water supply. A well network, well logs, geologic profiles, and a water level contour map were used as source information. Recharge was found to occur in some sections of washes and close to the mountains where washes cross or coincide with faults. Significant recharge to sand and gravel aquifers occurs directly through faults and joints. Little of the surface runoff is thought to recharge local aquifers because of low permeability layers beneath the alluvium and the short duration of the flows. Recharge calculation using the Darcy equation was subject to considerable error; but flow net analysis showed the total recharge to be 336 acre-feet per year representing about 50 acre feet per mile of mountain front per year.
    • Invited Topical Speaker: John D. Hem, Water-Quality Studies Today and Tomorrow

      Hem, John D.; U.S. Geological Survey, Menlo Park, California (Arizona-Nevada Academy of Science, 1973-05-05)
      Development of better instruments for analysis and automation have greatly increased the available information on quality of water during the past decade. There remains a need for further research on relationships between dissolved material and the solids in contact with water in order to cope with existing or potential problems in water quality such as the extent to which lead from automobile exhausts may contaminate water supplies, or the safety of disposal of toxic wastes into deep saline aquifers.
    • Salinity Problems of the Safford Valley: An Interdisciplinary Analysis

      Muller, Anthony B.; Department of Hydrology and Water Resources, University of Arizona, Tucson (Arizona-Nevada Academy of Science, 1973-05-05)
      A change in groundwater quality, averaging approximately +0.13 millimhos electrical conductivity and +35 ppm chloride per year, has been documented between 1940 and 1972 with data from ten long -term sample wells. The decrement in the water quality of the surficial aquifer seems to be attributable to four major mechanisms. An increase in salinity may be expected from leakage of saline water from the artesian aquifer. Such leakage would be stimulated by pumping- caused reduction of confining pressure, and by the puncture of the cap beds by deep wells. Water reaching the aquifer from natural recharge may contribute salts to the system. Such recharging water, if passed through soluble beds, could contribute to the salt. Lateral movement of water through similar deposits may be a contribution, and the concentration and infiltration of agricultural water could also add to aquifer salinity. The economic analysis of the Safford Valley, based on the modeling of a "Representative Farm" analog, indicates that cotton will remain economical to produce on the basis of the projected salinity trends, for a significant time beyond limits of prediction. The analysis indicates that the optimum salt-resistant crops for the area are being cultivated, and, of these, alfalfa will cease to be productive in large areas of the valley by 1990. The entire valley will not produce alfalfa for profit by 2040. The methodologies shown in the paper indicate how pumping influences salinity change and outline salinity control recommendations for the area.