• Applicability of the Universal Soil Loss Equation to Semiarid Rangeland Conditions in the Southwest

      Renard, K. G.; Simanton, J. R.; Osborn, H. B.; United States Department of Agriculture, Agricultural Research Service, Western Region, Southwest Watershed Research Center, Tucson, Arizona 85705 (Arizona-Nevada Academy of Science, 1974-04-20)
      An erosion prediction method that has recently received wide attention in the United States is the universal soil loss equation which is given as: a=rklscp. Where a = estimated soil loss (tons/acre/year), r = a rainfall factor, k = a soil erodibility factor, l = a slope length factor, s = a slope gradient factor, c = a cropping-management factor, and p = an erosion control practice factor. Data collected on the walnut gulch experimental watershed in southeastern Arizona were used to estimate these factors for semiarid rangeland conditions. The equation was then tested with data from watersheds of 108 and 372 acres. The predicted value of annual sediment yield was 1.29 tons/acre/year as compared with an average 1.64 tons/acre/year for 4 years of data for the 108-acre watershed, and a sediment yield of 0.39 tons/acre/year was predicted for the 372-acre watershed as compared with the measured value of 0.52 tons/acre/year. Although good agreement was noted between predicted and actual sediment yield, additional work is needed before the equation can be applied to other areas of the southwest.
    • Application of Remote Sensing in Floodway Delineation

      Clark, Robin B. (Arizona-Nevada Academy of Science, 1974-04-20)
      Population pressures on the land resources of Arizona have led to the sale and development of areas subject to flooding and because of the inadequacy of land use controls, the area is open to various land speculation schemes and unplanned subdivision growth. A floodplain delineation project was conducted for the planning department of Cochise County, Arizona, in which imagery acquired by earth resources technology satellite (ERT-1) and by high-altitude aircraft was employed. Parameters of the analysis included soils and geomorphology, vegetation, hydrologic calculations, and historical data. Floodplain soils lack developed b horizons, as compared to older, more mature soils not subject to flooding. General soil maps can only be used as guidelines, but a detailed soil survey can add significantly to the accuracy of image interpretations. Erosion-affected soil tones in areas adjacent to active channels proved beneficial in that the heightened contrast served to enhance resolution of vegetation-type boundaries. Hydrologic calculations were done based on valley cross-sections surveyed at two-to-three mile intervals. The historic data input into the system of floodplain delineation is dependent on the location of high-water marks and on obtaining a record of the amount of rainfall which resulted in the high-water mark.
    • Assessing Soil-Water Status Via Albedo Measurement

      Idso, Sherwood B.; Reginato, Robert J.; ARS, USDA, U. S. Water Conservation Laboratory, Phoenix, Arizona 85040 (Arizona-Nevada Academy of Science, 1974-04-20)
      Reliable information on soil-water status is required in order to make accurate water balance studies of watersheds, to determine the survival probabilities of various types of vegetation between rainfalls in low rainfall areas, and to determine the susceptibility of the uppermost soil to wind erosion. Simple solarimeters may help to accomplish this objective. Bare soil albedo was a linear function of the water content of a very thin surface layer of soil, and albedo correlated well with water contents of thicker soil layers. In addition, albedo measurements could be used to delineate the 3 classical stages of soil drying. Albedo may also be used to differentiate between the initial potential rate phase of evaporation following an application of water, and the succeeding falling rate phase. Results of applying this technique to a field of Avondale clay loam indicate that 20% to 25% of the water applied by either irrigation or rain will be lost by stage 1 potential evaporation, independent of seasonal variations in evaporative demand. Presently the techniques developed are applicable only to bare soil surfaces.
    • A Bacterial Water Quality Investigation of Canyon Lake

      Horak, W. F.; Lehman, G. S.; Department of Watershed Management, The University of Arizona, Tucson (Arizona-Nevada Academy of Science, 1974-04-20)
      Fecal coliform counts in relation to number of swimmers along with fecal streptococci counts of water samples from Canyon Lake in central Arizona are reported. The presence of swimmers was related to an increase in fecal coliforms which was attributed to organisms shed from the swimmers and from agitation of the bottom sediments, consequently dispersing much of the bacteria contained in the benthos. From sampling of the swimming areas it was determined that livestock waste was the primary source of pollution (a greater number of fecal streptococci was found than fecal coliforms), but this interpretation could be misleading due to the higher survival rate of fecal strep than that of fecal coliform organisms.
    • A Bibliographic Information System for Water Yield Improvement Practices

      White, Linda M.; Department of Watershed Management, University of Arizona, Tucson (Arizona-Nevada Academy of Science, 1974-04-20)
      Effects of vegetation management on water and other renewable natural resources and amenities are subjects of a computerized reference retrieval information system operated out of the department of watershed management, university of Arizona. Although WaMIS (watershed management information system is a subsystem of the arid lands information system, it has its own unique scope. The system, which serves as a link between bibliographic material and users who need access to the information, provides a personalized bibliography for the user in his area of interest. Documents identified as relevant to the system's scope are abstracted and indexed, and references stored in a computer bank. In response to specific inquiries from users, the computer tapes are searched under indexing terms, author, and/or data, and a printout of citations (giving author, data, title, source, abstract, and indexing terms) relevant to the inquiry is sent to the user.
    • Canyon Creek Management Analysis

      Siverts, L. E.; Gale, R. D.; Russell, J. W.; Regional Office, Region 3, Albuquerque, New Mexico (Arizona-Nevada Academy of Science, 1974-04-20)
    • Constraints on Water Development by the Appropriation Doctrine (invited)

      Lorah, William L.; Wright Water Engineers, Inc. (Arizona-Nevada Academy of Science, 1974-04-20)
      The doctrine of prior appropriation used in the arid western states has encouraged rapid exploitation of our natural water resources. Those who beneficially used the water first, regardless of type of use or efficiency, obtained a perpetual right to always be first. As frontiers for exploiting our natural resources shrink, the Appropriation Doctrine is changing under the stresses of the 1970's. Our water allocations system is changing as new water -use priorities emerge along with changing quality standards. Government at all levels, along with planners and engineers, must understand the institutional and legal constraints put on water development by our historic water rights system so that intelligent decisions can be made in developing and maintaining our natural water resources.
    • A Deterministic Model for Semi-Arid Catchments

      Nnaji, S.; Davis, D. R.; Fogel, M. M. (Arizona-Nevada Academy of Science, 1974-04-20)
      Semiarid environments exhibit certain hydrologic characteristics which must be taken into consideration for the effective modeling of the behavior of catchments in these areas. Convective storms, which cause most of the runoff, occur in high intensity and short duration during the summer months and are highly localized so that only a small portion of the catchment actually contributes flow to the storm hydrograph. Also, streams in semiarid catchments are ephemeral with flow occurring only about 1 percent of the time. This study attempts to develop a simple synthetic catchment model that reflects these features of the semiarid environment and for which (1) the simplifying assumptions do not preclude the inclusion of the important components of the runoff process, and (2) parameters of the equations representing the component processes have physical interpretation and are obtainable from basin characteristics so that the model may be applicable to ungaged sites. A reductionist approach is then applied in which the entire catchment is subdivided into a finite number of meshes and the various components of the runoff phenomenon are delineated within each mesh as independent functions of the catchment. Simplified forms of the hydrodynamic equations of flow are used to route flow generated from each mesh to obtain a complete hydrograph at the outlet point.
    • Display and Manipulation of Inventory Data

      Gale, R. D.; Russel, J. W.; Siverts, L. E.; Tonto National Forest, Phoenix, Arizona; Southwestern Region, U.S.F.S., Albuquerque, New Mexico (Arizona-Nevada Academy of Science, 1974-04-20)
      A stochastic model is presented for the prediction of sediment yield in a semi-arid watershed based on rainfall data and watershed characteristics. Random variables which lead to uncertainty in the model are rainfall amount, storm duration, runoff, and peak flow. Soil conservation service formulas are used to compute the runoff and peak flow components of the universal soil loss equation, and a transformation of random variables is used to obtain the distribution function of sediment yield from the joint distribution of rainfall amount and storm duration. Applications of the model are in the planning of reservoirs and dams where the effective lifetime of the facility may be evaluated in terms of storage capacity as well as the effects of land management of the watershed. In order to calibrate the model and to evaluate the uncertainties involved, experimental data from the Atterbury watershed near Tucson, Arizona were used.
    • Economic Alternatives in Solving the U. S.-Mexico Colorado River Water Salinity Problem (invited)

      Martin, William E.; Arizona Agricultural Experiment Station, the University of Arizona, Tucson (Arizona-Nevada Academy of Science, 1974-04-20)
      A proposed desalting plant is an engineering solution to the effects of a problem which could have been avoided and even now could be reduced on the farm. Water costing $125 per acre-foot will be delivered to Mexico to grow wheat, cotton, garden crops, alfalfa and safflower, of which the average value added per acre-foot was estimated at $80 for cotton and garden crops and $14 for wheat, alfalfa and safflower. The U.S. government, instead of building the desalting complex, could accomplish its purpose just as well by paying each farmer in the Yuma area, in return for the farmers reducing their drainage flow by whatever method they see fit, $114 per acre per year for the next 50 years. With proper management on the farm, the costs of managing salinity need not be high.
    • The Effect of Development on Groundwater in the Parker Strip

      Everett, L. G.; Schultz, T. R.; Department of Hydrology and Water Resources, University of Arizona, Tucson, Arizona (Arizona-Nevada Academy of Science, 1974-04-20)
      The 14.6 miles of the Colorado River bounded by Parker Dam and Headgate Rock Dam has been referred to as the Parker Strip. This river reach has become a high use recreation area during the past decade with 4,000 permanent residents and as many as 120,000 water enthusiasts on long weekends. The riparian area of the river is heavily clustered with mobile homes, marinas and public beaches. The means of sewage disposal is exclusively via septic tanks. Recent surveys by the Environmental Protection Agency, Arizona State Department of Public Health and the University of Arizona have localized surface water bacteria levels that may indicate a developing groundwater problem. The geohydrology of the area indicates that the septic tanks are located in Post -Pliocene Colorado River deposits. The deposits are quite thin and relatively narrow. Since the deposits are locally derived sands and gravels, the horizontal hydraulic conductivities are such that a relatively short flow time to the river may result. Intensive evaluation of the degradation of the water quality in these deposits is needed to determine if the ground water supply was jeopardized by septic tank systems.
    • Establishing a Process Framework for Land Use Planning (invited)

      Lundeen, Lloyd J.; Watershed Systems Development and Application Unit, U. S. Forest Service, Berkeley, California (Arizona-Nevada Academy of Science, 1974-04-20)
      The operational aspects of land use planning, to be effective, must be tied to a well defined planning process. The framework for this process includes a set of main components which are important in solving land use planning problems. These components are linked together in a design related to the basic concepts of decision analysis which has been oriented to natural resource problems. Detailed description can be added to the .process framework to tailor it to a specific problem, study area, or study level. Some of the major components in the framework are an objectives and goals spectrum, problem formulation, physical characterization of the land, social and economic demands analysis, identification of management alternatives and specific activities, simulation of resource response, allocation of resources, visual quality analysis, transportation system analysis, and a data management system. This process framework is d »sinned to he dynamic, user oriented, and compatible with the type of problems encountered in land use planning.
    • Fresh Water for Arizona by Salt Replacement Desalination

      Muller, Anthony B.; Department of Hydrology and Water Resources, University of Arizona, Tucson, Arizona 85721 (Arizona-Nevada Academy of Science, 1974-04-20)
      The process of salt replacement desalination proposed is believed to be able to produce vast quantities of fresh water be desalination. This method, which is a novel approach to minimizing the costs of saline water conversion, consists of the substitution of solutes in a solution to be desalted by a replacer chemical, and the low energy removal of that replacer chemical. The ultrafiltration of larger molecular sized replacer chemicals with high flux membranes increases the produce yield rate and reduces the corresponding energy requirement, with respect to reverse osmosis. In addition, the initial captial investment is less since no pressure constraining devices are required. The alteration of the osmotic pressure of the replacer solution within the process can also take advantage of energy savings through the utilization of an easily reversible reaction which synthesizes and breaks down a constituent that has a significant osmotic pressure difference between phases. Finally, the unusual process of fixed gel syneresis shows potential as a low energy salt replacement type process, but still requires extensive investigation.
    • Hydrologic Aspects of Land-Use Planning at Tumamoc Hill, Tucson, Arizona

      Popkin, Barney Paul; Soils, Water and Engineering Department, The University of Arizona, Tucson (Arizona-Nevada Academy of Science, 1974-04-20)
      Tumamoc Hill, an 869-acre (352 ha) desert area near Tucson, Arizona, is being considered as a controlled- access environmental site. Water affects the site's geology, soils, vegetation, wildlife, and archaeology. The Hill is drained by three small watersheds. The largest is rapidly urbanizing upstream. Hydrologic aspects include potential flooding and erosion hazards. These may be reduced simply, economically, and wisely in a land-use plan. Upstream development increases storm runoff volumes, and flood peaks, and frequencies routed through the site, and threatens existing downstream urban development. Return periods of channel-overflow floods become shorter with urbanization. The region may be managed to reduce hydrologic hazards by three procedures: widen channels, install low checkdams, and vegetate drainageways. These methods will slow down runoff velocities, and increase cross -sectional area of flow and roughness coefficient. More water would also be available for vegetation and wildlife. The land-use plan should include environmental education programs. These would present important effects of water on the natural ecology, and hydrologic aspects of watershed urbanization.
    • Hydrology and Water Resources in Arizona and the Southwest, Volume 4 (1974)

      Unknown author (Arizona-Nevada Academy of Science, 1974-04-20)
    • Increasing Forage Production on a Semiarid Rangeland Watershed

      Tromble, J. M.; United States Department of Agriculture, Agricultural Research Service, Western Region, Southwest Watershed Research Center, Tucson, Arizona 85705 (Arizona-Nevada Academy of Science, 1974-04-20)
      Two native grass species, blue grama and sidecoats, were successfully seeded on a semiarid rangeland on the walnut gulch experimental watershed in southeastern Arizona. Optimum seeding dates selected were those within the time period most likely to receive precipitation, and grass stands were established in two successive years with average rainfall. Shrubs were killed by root-plowing at a depth of 14 inches, a procedure which was more than 95% successful in controlling sprouting shrubs. Forage production measurements taken on nm-28 sideoats and Vaughn sideoats showed a yield of 1,950 and 2,643 pounds of forage per acre, respectively, for the 2 years following the seeding, whereas untreated sites produced 23 and 25 pounds per acre of forage. Results indicate that success in establishing a stand of native grass is increased through use of existing hydrologic data.
    • Laboratory Evaluation of Water-Repellent Soils for Water Harvesting

      Fink, Dwayne H.; U. S. Water Conservation Laboratory (Arizona-Nevada Academy of Science, 1974-04-20)
      Reported are laboratory evaluations to screen water-repellent materials and treatments before testing them in the field. Water repellency tests were conducted on paraffin wax, a wax emulsion and silicon, lard, and a liquid dust suppressant. Six water repellency tests showed that the high rates of paraffin wax and all rates of the dust suppressant produced highly water-repellent soil surfaces. The six water repellency tests were: (1) the aqueous-alcohol drop test for determination of the 90 degree surface tension for a porous solid, (2) the water drop penetration time test, (3) the relative height of a large sessile water drop resting on the smoothed, treated soil surface, (4) and (5) the presence and persistence of air bubbles trapped between the soil-water interface, and test (6) was made to note whether the large sessile water drop from test (3) would infiltrate the soil or evaporate. Tests (3), (4), and (5) proved the most useful of the six methods for measuring water repellency. Soil type had no significant influence on degree of water repellency as measured in the laboratory by these six tests.
    • Metropolitan Operated District for Sewage Effluent - Irrigation Water Exchange

      Cluff, C. Brent; DeCook, K. James; Water Resources Research Center, The University of Arizona, Tucson (Arizona-Nevada Academy of Science, 1974-04-20)
      A plan for the reuse of sewage effluent is proposed for the city of Tucson, Arizona. Several kinds of use would be possible, but utilization for irrigation of existing farmland in the Avra-Marana area seems particularly attractive for several reasons: (1) conveyance can be accomplished by gravity flow, (2) no tertiary treatment is required for the presently grown crops, (3) the nutrients in the effluent would be better used, and (4) effluent use would reduce the pumpage of high quality groundwater, conserving it for municipal or other uses. An exchange of wastewater for groundwater for use in the city system is seen as a good alternative to the present practice of the city purchasing farmland in Avra valley in order to acquire the groundwater for conveyance to the Tucson basin. Objectives to maximize the quantity and efficiency of wastewater use may not appear compatible with the profit maximization motive of the individual farmer, and suitable provisions will have to be written into wastewater sales agreements to assure coordination between user and supplier.
    • An Overview of Storage and Retrieval Systems (invited)

      Foster, Kenneth E.; Office of Arid Lands Studies, University of Arizona (Arizona-Nevada Academy of Science, 1974-04-20)
    • Preliminary Investigations of the Hydrologic Properties of Diatremes in the Hopi Buttes, Arizona

      Scott, Kenneth C.; Edmonds, R. J.; Montgomery, E. L.; Northern Arizona University; U. S. Geological Survey, Flagstaff (Arizona-Nevada Academy of Science, 1974-04-20)
      Diatremes of Late Pliocene age in the Hopi Buttes area of Arizona are becoming increasingly important sources of groundwater to the Indian nations. These volcanic vent structures are prime sources of groundwater because sedimentary formations in the Hopi Buttes area yield only limited amounts of water or yield poor quality water. Diatremes act as traps for groundwater and some have yielded moderate amounts of good quality water to wells. Surface geologic investigations and analysis of drillers' logs indicate that structural relationships and diatreme lithology provide a means to project the hydrologic properties of the vent. Diatremes most suitable for groundwater development should have a diameter greater than one half mile, should contain volcanic tuff and breccia at its center, and should be fractured from collapse. Lava flows covering diatremes reduce recharge from sheet wash or from ephemeral stream flow. Data from geomagnetic and gravity surveys will be analyzed to determine its suitability for predicting subsurface size, shape, and lithology of the diatreme. The integration of geophysical and surface geologic data will reveal the total geometry of the structure enabling the most accurate appraisal of the hydrologic properties of the diatreme.