• Augmenting Annual Runoff Records Using Tree-Ring Data

      Stockton, Charles W.; Fritts, Harold C.; Laboratory of Tree-Ring Research, The University of Arizona, Tucson, Arizona, 85721 (Arizona-Nevada Academy of Science, 1971-04-23)
      Statistical analyses of existing hydrologic records suffer from the problem that such records are of relatively short duration, and therefore may not necessarily be random samples of the infinite population of events. On the hypothesis that tree-ring series and runoff series respond to a common climatic signal or signals that permit prediction of annual runoff from annual ring-width index, tree-ring data are used to extend available runoff records backwards in time to permit more accurate estimates of the 3 most common statistics used in hydrology: the mean, the variance and the 1st order correlation. It is assumed that both series are generated by the climatic parameters of precipitation, temperature, evapotranspiration, seasonal regime and spatial distribution. Of major concern in the reconstruction of annual runoff series from tree-ring records was the difference in persistence within each of the 2 series. A matrix of the tree-ring data was constructed, lagged up to 3 times and principal components were extracted. The covariation in this matrix was then decomposed by extracting the Eigen-vectors, and multiple regression was then used to weight the respective series and the differences in persistence were determined. This method was applied to watersheds of diverse characteristics and improved estimates of the mean and variance were obtained.
    • Collective Utility: A Systems Approach for the Utilization of Water Resources

      Dupnick, Edwin; Duckstein, Lucien; Systems Engineering Department, University of Arizona (Arizona-Nevada Academy of Science, 1971-04-23)
      In the semiarid southwestern U.S. where competition for water is fierce between competing users, no regional agency controls water allocation, and as a result, much court litigation ensues. This paper attempts to develop a model for optimal allocation of water resources and to apply the model to a specific case study. In November 1969, the largest farming interest in the Sahuarita-continental area near Tucson filed a court suit seeking first to reduce the amount of groundwater used by 4 nearby copper mines, and then to allocate the water more evenly among various interests in the area. The farming interest maintained that the mines' drawdown on the groundwater table would soon deplete the supply to the point where agriculture would become impossible. The model utilizes the concept of collective utility which postulates the existence of an economic decision maker (edp). To get around the problem of determination of net revenue functions, the theory compares the relative desirability of neighboring economic states. The edp has the power to impose groundwater-use taxes in such a way as to maximize overall growth of collective utility in the Sahuarita-continental area, taking into account the externalities of the resource consumption. The mathematical analysis is presented in detail.
    • Comparison of Water Pricing Structures from a Collective Utility Viewpoint

      Metler, Bill; Duckstein, Lucien; Systems Engineering Department, University of Arizona, Tucson, Arizona 85721 (Arizona-Nevada Academy of Science, 1971-04-23)
      As a result of continually lowering water tables in the arid regions of the west, many people are beginning to realize that water should be treated like any other rare resource, letting supply and demand factors regulate its distribution. Three types of price structures are used by water agencies: (1) the flat rate system (2) the step rate system and (3) the block rate system. Each of these structures may be progressive or regressive. At present, Tucson's only source of water lies underground and will presumably decrease as the population increases. To optimize the benefits to the community, it may be necessary to decrease not only average consumption but also summertime peak consumption for swimming pools, evaporative coolers and lawn sprinkling. Currently, Tucson uses a regressive block rate pricing structure. Using the theory of collective utility, a model is developed for use in comparing 2 price structures in an effort to define a monetary value for water conservation. It is concluded that the change in collective utility, du, which is a measure of the worth of change from economic state 1 to 2, is the best measure of price changes in arid areas. The model shows that Tucson water consumption would be lowered and money would be lost with either price structure, but with the permanent change, monetary flow of goods would be greater than under the seasonal structure.
    • Conditional Streamflow Probabilities

      Roefs, T. G.; Clainos, D. M.; Hydrology & Water Resources, University of Arizona (Arizona-Nevada Academy of Science, 1971-04-23)
      Streamflows of monthly or shorter time periods, are, in most parts of the world, conditionally dependent. In studies of planning, commitment and operation decisions concerning reservoirs, it is probably most computationally efficient to use simulation routines for decisions of low dimensions, as planning and commitment, and optimization routines for the highly dimensional operation rule decisions. This presents the major problem of combining the 2 routines, since streamflow dependencies in simulation routines are continuous while the direct stochastic optimization routines are discrete. A stochastic streamflow synthesis routine is described consisting of 2 parts: streamflow probability distribution and dependency analysis and a streamflow generation using the relationships developed. A discrete dependency matrix between streamflow amounts was then sought. Setting as the limits of interest the class 400-500 thousand acre ft in January and 500-600 thousand acre ft in February, and using the transforms specified, the appropriate normal deviates were determined. The next serious problem was calculating the conditional dependency based on the bivariate normal distribution. In order to calculate the joint probability exactly, double integrations would be required and these use too much computer time. For the problem addressed, therefore, the use of 1-dimensional conditional probabilities based on the flow interval midpoint is an adequate and effective procedure.
    • Effects of Fire on Water Infiltration Rates in a Ponderosa Pine Stand

      Zwolinski, Malcolm J.; University of Arizona, Tucson (Arizona-Nevada Academy of Science, 1971-04-23)
      The importance of pine forest as a timber and water producing area has led to intensive management, including protection from wildfire. This has resulted in dense stand growth with increased destructive fire potential and transpirational water loss. In Arizona, as in many areas, prescribed forest burning has been used to effectively reduce these fuel hazards. Some question has arisen about the possible side effects of such treatments, particularly air pollution and reduction of infiltration and water yield. In an effort to determine the effects on infiltration, plots receiving various treatments (control, light burn, heavy burn) were fitted with fusion pyrometers before burning, to measure soil surface temperatures during burning. After burning, infiltrometers were installed. Surface temperatures did not exceed 200 degrees f. For the light burns, and ranged over 350-500 degrees f. During heavy burns. Both heavy and light burns produced highly significant decreases in infiltration capacities after burning and the surface 2 inches showed increases in soil pH, carbon and total nitrogen percentages. Infiltration capacities returned to normal after overwintering and were attributed to frost action on soil texture and porosity. The soil chemical changes decreased slowly over 2 years. Soil water repellency also increased and the significance of this is discussed.
    • Field Measurements of Soil-Water Content and Soil-Water Pressure

      Reginato, R. J.; Jackson, R. D.; U.S. Water Conservation Laboratory, Soil and Water Conservation Research Division, Agricultural Research Service, U.S. Department of Agriculture, Phoenix, Arizona 85040 (Arizona-Nevada Academy of Science, 1971-04-23)
      Knowledge of the dynamic water content-pressure potential relationship within the soil profile is useful in determining the importance of hysteresis under natural conditions. Continuous monitoring of water content in the field is now possible using recently developed gamma-ray transmission equipment which allows water content measurements in 1 cm-thick soil layers with an error of 0.0009 gm/gm. The nuclear equipment and the tensiometer assembly for pressure measurements are described. Soil water content and pressure in the top 10 cm of a field soil profile were measured continuously for a 2-week period following an irrigation. The highest water content was measured each day just before sunrise. This declined rapidly from early morning to early afternoon, and was followed by a gain during the mid-afternoon and evening. The amplitude of this diurnal change diminished with time after irrigation. The pressure potential at a depth of 1.5 cm decreased most rapidly as the water content declined, but not exactly in phase. This may have been due to temperature effects on the pressure metering system. A moisture characteristic curve was constructed from the data.
    • Hydrologic Effects of Soil Surface Micro-Flora

      Faust, William F.; Water Resources Research Center, The University of Arizona, Tucson (Arizona-Nevada Academy of Science, 1971-04-23)
      Previous studies have indicated that blue-green algae may affect runoff, infiltration and erosion at soil surfaces. Using soil plots upon which blue-green algae were grown under an artificial wetting regime, studies were made using simulated rainfall. A 30% clay content Pima soil and a contrasting 8% clay content river-bottom anthony soil were used. Scytonema hoffmanii and Microcoleus vaginatus grew on the pima soil while Schizothrix calcicola developed on the Anthony soil. The results showed that blue-green algal growths significantly reduced the amount of suspended soil material in runoff water as compared with bare soils. Differences in runoff suspended sediments were also related to differences in soil type and simulated rainfall intensity. An analysis of variance of the effects of these 3 factors and their interactions showed that the smaller differences in suspended sediment production on the Anthony soil due to the microvegetation treatment was verified by a highly significant soils-microvegetation interaction, probably because the finer pima soils wash away more easily without stabilizing microvegetation. Also, less vegetation seems to grow on the Anthony soil. Differences in runoff and infiltration volumes and in settleable sediment amounts were not detected.
    • Hydrology and Water Resources in Arizona and the Southwest, Volume 1 (1971)

      Unknown author (Arizona-Nevada Academy of Science, 1971-04-23)
    • Management of Artificial Recharge Wells for Groundwater Quality Control

      Wilson, L. G.; Water Resources Research Center, University of Arizona, Tucson (Arizona-Nevada Academy of Science, 1971-04-23)
      Recharge wells may be used in various problems relating to chemical water quality because of the phenomenon of in-aquifer mixing. This paper reviews specific recharge well-mixing techniques of possible utility in underground mixing operations for nitrate control. Illustrative data from field studies at a recharge site near Tucson, Arizona are presented. Both single- and 2-well types of mixing were investigated. In single-well operations, effluent recharge and pumping of the subsequent mixture occur at the same well. Differences in chlorine ion levels were used to distinguish between recharge effluent and native groundwater. Undiluted effluent was discharged in single-well operations until a pumped volume ratio of about 0.4 was attained. Dilution increased steadily with increased pumping and the relative concentration versus pumped volume curve was s-shaped. Seven-day pauses after effluent recharge resulted in immediate pumping of almost completely diluted water, probably because groundwater movement swept the effluent beyond the pumping unit during the pause. With 2-well pumping, the chlorine breakthrough curve reached a constant level at about 13 days and was close to that of the pause-type, single-well regime.
    • Mulching Techniques for Arid Lands Vegetable Production

      Peebles, R. W.; Oebker, Norman F.; University of Arizona, Tucson, Arizona 85721 (Arizona-Nevada Academy of Science, 1971-04-23)
      Mulches have been used for evaporation suppression in facilitating vegetable production under arid lands conditions. A study was undertaken in order to evaluate the effectiveness of plastic aprons, supplied by the FAO, as compared to gravel mulches. The vinyl aprons were 6 mils thick and about 1 meter square. Squash plants (Cucurbita pepo) were planted with gravel or plastic aprons or in bare areas and under different watering schedules. The yields under plastic aprons were considerably greater than under gravel and required slightly less water. Bare soil yields lagged far behind. Soil temperatures under the plastic aprons were consistently higher over 24 hours than bare soil, which within limits, would facilitate faster crop growth. Additionally, the apron collects and diverts rainfall to the plant. The vinyl used lasts only 2 seasons, and gravel would probably be a more suitable mulch for developing countries where capital is scarce.
    • Nitrogen Balance for a 23-Square Mile Minnesota Watershed

      Johnson, Jack D.; Office of Arid Land Studies, University of Arizona, Tucson (Arizona-Nevada Academy of Science, 1971-04-23)
      The nitrogen balance of a watershed near the city of New Prague, Minnesota was evaluated as part of an overall study on lake and stream eutrophication. Although the n-balance of a humid Midwest watershed cannot be expected to be identical to that of an arid watershed, the processes are the same and differences should be mainly quantitive. Sources of input and causes of depletion are reviewed for 4 points in the nitrogen cycle: the atmospheric zone, the soil-atmosphere interface, the plant-root and soil-water zone and the surface water zone. In the New Prague watershed, commercial fertilizer and bulk precipitation were the major sources of input, contributing, respectively, 53% and 34.4% of the total input of 2.34 million lb/yr. Crop yield and soil or groundwater storage contributed 52.1% and 20.4% of non-enrichment depletions. The closeness of the values of crop yield and commercial fertilizer application was an unfortunate coincidence and is certainly not an indication that the entire fertilizer supply was taken up cry crops. In an arid environment, free from fertilized agriculture, bulk precipitation probably provides the major source of nitrogen compounds.
    • The Occurrence of Thermal Groundwater in the Basin and Range Province of Arizona

      Wright, Jerome J.; Geosciences, University of Arizona, Tucson (Arizona-Nevada Academy of Science, 1971-04-23)
      The distribution of groundwater having temperature considered to be higher than normal is examined on a regional basis. Much of the work was done by searching the literature and examining USGS records. The geographic distribution of the thermal waters is reviewed; relation to structure, geothermal gradients and water quality are discussed. Current and past utilization of thermal water from both springs and wells of the state has never been very extensive. Conclusions were: (1) the occurrence of thermal water in the state is closely allied to major structural elements, especially major fault zones; (2) geothermal gradients vary widely from place to place; (3) the extent of 'bedrock' influence on thermal water occurrence is difficult to ascertain; (4) most thermal water in southern Arizona is derived from meteoric water.
    • Optimal Utilization of Playa Lake Water in Irrigation

      Dvoracek, M. J.; Roefs, T. G.; Hydrology & Water Resources, University of Arizona (Arizona-Nevada Academy of Science, 1971-04-23)
      Playa lakes usually occur in arid or semiarid regions where lands are flat and there is an absence of well-developed surface drainage nets. They are usually filled by surface runoff from highly erratic precipitation patterns. There are about 20,000 of them in the high plains of Texas and their volume of storage is an estimated 2.5-3 maf. As such, they represent a major underutilized water source. The major drawbacks to their utilization are high evaporation losses, questionable depth-area relations and the stochastic nature of the rainfall source. This paper assumes that the water is available and presents a dynamic programming model useful in determining the optimal utilization of the water for irrigation. If irrigation is the major use, its timing of application is of paramount importance. A deterministic dynamic programming model, utilizing the state variables of antecedent soil moisture and amount of available water, is presented, and provides the time and amount of irrigation required to maximize crop response. A better stochastic model is also presented which considers rainfall probability and resulting lake filling. The models are only first attempts and do not incorporate all possible variables.
    • Physiographic Limitations Upon the Use of Southwestern Rivers

      Breed, Carol S.; Museum of Northern Arizona, Flagstaff (Arizona-Nevada Academy of Science, 1971-04-23)
      Southwestern rivers are few in numbers and low in discharge. The physiographic and climatic reasons for this are discussed. To the east of the 100th meridian, rainfall is reliable and agriculture is stable; while to the west, there is a chronic deficit of water, droughts are frequent and lifestyles must be accordingly adjusted. Dam building results in greatly increased silting behind the dam in both the river and its tributaries and accelerated channel erosion below the dam. Total flow must also decrease due to withdrawals and increased evaporation from reservoirs. The correction of apparent errors in measuring the virgin flow of the Colorado River now indicates that this flow is about 15 maf/yr. Current legal allocations total 17.5 maf/yr of river water, including the central Arizona project (cap), which will withdraw 1.2 maf/yr. While the river is being dammed and overallocated beyond all reason, the water table is being mined at the alarming rate of 20 ft/yr. In central Arizona, it has dropped to about 250 ft below the surface, and even if all withdrawals ceased immediately, it would take many centuries of of desert rains before it would return to its former level of 50 ft. The cap water will cancel only about 1/2 of this overdraft annually. A glance at the phoenix area today shows that rain follows neither the farmers plow nor the subdividers bulldozer.
    • Politics and the Colorado River

      Steiner, Wesley E.; Arizona Water Commission, Phoenix, Arizona (Arizona-Nevada Academy of Science, 1971-04-23)
      The Colorado River is the only major stream in the U.S. whose water supply is fully utilized. This distinction has brought the Colorado more than its share of controversy, within states, between states and between nations. The Colorado River compact, whose purpose was to equitably apportion the waters between the upper and lower basins and to provide protection for the upper basin through water reservation, was ratified by all states except Arizona, in 1923. Arizona finally ratified it in 1944. The history of controversies and negotiation concerning the compact are outlined through the supreme court decision on march 9, 1964, which entitled California to 4.4 maf, Nevada to 0.3 maf and Arizona to 2.8 maf, of the first 7.5 maf available in the lower Colorado. Unfortunately, the court did not attempt to establish priorities in the event of shortage. The problem is complicated by an international treaty of 1944, guaranteeing Mexico 1.5 maf annually, except in years of unusual circumstances. Because Senator Connally of Texas was then chairman of the senate foreign relations committee and because the treaty allocated twice as much Colorado River water to Mexico as it was then using, it was argued that this treaty represented a tradeoff to Mexico, giving it less water from the Rio Grande in exchange for more water from the overburdened Colorado. Problems of inter-basin water transfer studies, uniform Colorado basin water quality standards and central Arizona project planning are discussed.
    • Progress in Developing Forest Management Guidelines for Increasing Snowpack Water Yields

      Thorud, David B.; Ffolliott, Peter F.; Department of Watershed Management, University of Arizona, Tucson (Arizona-Nevada Academy of Science, 1971-04-23)
      Snowmelt is a major source of runoff in Arizona for both reservoir systems and groundwater recharge. Because much of the Arizona snowmelt runoff occurs in ponderosa pine forests, it follows that appropriate forest management methods may enhance snowmelt water yield by manipulating tree spacing or overstory density. This paper attempts to establish guidelines for evaluating such forest management practices. Physiographic and climatic factors also affect runoff quantity, and it is conceivable that 2 sites of identical vegetation composition, but different in some combination of these factors might yield quite different amounts of runoff in response to some management practice. A pert network is presented illustrating the investigative framework for such a research effort. The major study activities of the framework are the identifying developing preliminary evaluations and preparing a comprehensive report. Three inventory evaluations to attempt identification of pertinent populations are currently being conducted and are described.
    • Recharging the Ogallala Formation Using Shallow Holes

      Dvoracek, M. J.; Peterson, S. H.; Hydrology & Water Resources, University of Arizona; Agricultural Engineering Department, Texas Tech University (Arizona-Nevada Academy of Science, 1971-04-23)
      The southern bed of the ogallala aquifer is hydrologically isolated from all outside areas of recharge, requiring local precipitation for all natural recharge. Current withdrawals are so much greater than natural recharge that it appears that artificial recharge affords the only means of establishing at least a pseudo-balance. A number of observation wells were drilled at Texas Tech University, and subsequently capped until recharge water became available. The initial recharge was 2.5 af over 12 days, at a rate of 120 gpm for about the first day, after which 60 gpm was relatively constant. Approximately 1 month later, 1.2 af were recharged over 3 days at rates ranging over 140-90 gpm. It became evident that a cavity was present at the bottom of the hole being recharged. On a later recharge occasion, the cavity seemed to have enlarged. During a period of 2 years more than 28 af of surface runoff water have been recharged through the shallow hole with increases in recharge rates for each subsequent recharge period. The nature of this phenomenon and the cavities are not understood. This may represent the long sought after answer to recharge of the aquifer, but much more extensive research needs to be done.
    • Regional Differences in Runoff-Producing Thunderstorms Rainfall in the Southwest

      Osborn, H. B.; Southwest Watershed Research Center, Tucson, Arizona, 85705 (Arizona-Nevada Academy of Science, 1971-04-23)
      Quantitative descriptions of regional differences of rainfall amounts and intensities in the southwest, such as depth-duration frequencies, generally have ignored differences in the storm system that generated the rainfall and have lumped essentially different storm systems together. Thunderstorm rainfall in southern Arizona and New Mexico were analyzed using data from both recording and standard rain gages. The results were somewhat conflicting. Possibly because of more frontal activity and less distance from the Gulf of Mexico., the thunderstorms in eastern New Mexico can be more intense than those in southeastern Arizona. Recording rain gage records suggest that air-mass thunderstorms produce a larger number of more intense short-duration (about 1 hour or less) rains in southeastern Arizona than in other parts of southern Arizona. However, standard rain gage records from southern Arizona indicate that rainfall from individual air-mass thunderstorms may be greater in south-central Arizona than in se or sw Arizona. But frequency analysis of standard gage data from air-mass storms shows that the 100-year point rainfall is about 3 inches in all 3 regions. With more data becoming available, especially from remote areas, more exact separation of thunderstorm types and a better definition of rainfall will soon be possible.
    • Renovating Sewage Effluent by Ground-Water Recharge

      Bouwer, Herman; Lance, J. C.; Rice, R. C.; U.S. Water Conservation Laboratory, Soil and Water Conservation Research Division, Agricultural Research Service, U.S. Department of Agriculture, Phoenix, Arizona 85040 (Arizona-Nevada Academy of Science, 1971-04-23)
      Sewage effluent is commonly used for the irrigation of crops that are not consumed raw. Due to continued population growth in the Salt River Valley, Arizona, economic reuse of municipal waste waters is becoming essential. The salt river bed has about 3 ft of fine loamy sand underlain by sand and gravel layers to great depth and a groundwater table at about 10 ft depth. These conditions are very favorable for high-rate waste water reclamation by groundwater recharge. The activated sludge plant in phoenix will probably be discharging 250 mgd by the year 2000. At 4.5 ft average annual water use, this could irrigate about 70,000 acres, possibly more than agriculture will need at that time. A sewage effluent renovation pilot project was located about 1.5 miles from the plant. It contains 6 parallel recharge basins 20 to 700 ft each, spaced 20 ft apart. The basins were covered by grass, gravel or were left bare. Observation wells were installed at various locations in the area. Results indicated that infiltration rates were fastest in the grassy basins. Phosphate, nitrogen and median fecal coliform levels were all lower after this form of tertiary treatment. Practical details of the application of this water reclamation method in the Salt River Valley are outlined. Costs would be 5 dollars/af, less than 1/10 the equivalent costs of in-plant tertiary treatments.
    • Seasonal Effects on Soil Drying After Irrigation

      Kimball, B. A.; Jackson, R. D.; U.S. Water Conservation Laboratory, Soil and Water Conservation Research Division, Agricultural Research Service, U.S. Department of Agriculture, Phoenix, Arizona 85040 (Arizona-Nevada Academy of Science, 1971-04-23)
      A study was made to determine how the evaporation rate from a bare Adelanto loam soil in Phoenix changes with season and with time since the last irrigation. The evaporation rates were determined by precision lysimeters in a bare field, with measurements being taken in every month of the year for at least a week after irrigation. The data exhibited a cosine-shaped curve, with a maximum evaporation rate of about 5 mm/day in summer and a minimum rate of about 2 mm/day in winter. By the seventh day, seasonal effects virtually disappear, and the evaporation rate is the same in both summer and winter, being about 2 mm/day after the 7th day and about 0.75 mm/day after the 21st day. It is generally accepted that soil dries in 3 stages, and the transition between the 1st and 2nd stages occurs when atmospheric conditions are no longer critical. In previous laboratory studies of soil drying, with constant atmospheric conditions, stage 1 was easily distinguished from stage II, and these results correlated closely with the equations of Gardner and Hillel. The individual drying curves of this field study were qualitatively different from the laboratory studies and did not confirm the predictions of the equations, suggesting that diurnal variations in temperature and other meteorological parameters have caused the difference.