November 9, 2012


Chamois Andersen
Communications & Public Outreach
(307) 766-2286 x231

WSGS Releases Groundwater Report for Wind River-Bighorn Basin

The Wyoming State Geological Survey (WSGS) today announced the release of a new report on groundwater resources in the Wind River and Bighorn basins. This research is part of a comprehensive study on Wyoming’s groundwater resources, found in geologic deposits and bedrock formations in aquifers ranging in age from present Quaternary to Precambrian.

The 381-page report, “Wind/Bighorn Basin Water Plan Update Groundwater Study Level 1 (2008-2011),” is part of a series of WSGS water basin reports that detail the major aquifers in Wyoming’s river basins. The Wyoming river basin project is in collaboration with the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) and commissioned by the Wyoming Water Development Commission (WWDC).

“Wyoming and the nation rely heavily on groundwater resources for water supplies for drinking, irrigating crops and other purposes,” said Tom Drean, director of the WSGS. “Understanding the geologic conditions and such information as aquifer recharge rates means Wyoming’s water managers can be better equipped to manage our water resources in the future,” he said.

The WSGS has created a comprehensive website on the Wind/Bighorn Basin report, which includes a clickable entry-page map of Wyoming’s basins as well as pages created, based on the individual reports, including the first in the series on the Greater Green River Basin. Individual chapters (pdfs) from the published report as well as the full version are available to view or download via the WWDC website.

“River basins represent nature’s way of gathering and delivering water,” said Karl Taboga, a WSGS hydrogeologist, who was recently hired to lead the team of scientists assembled for the Wyoming river basin project. “These basins constitute ecosystems that provide us with fresh water, regulating services such as flood control and water purification, and cultural services such as recreation,” he added.

This project is being funded through a grant provided by the WWDC, which coordinates water and related land resource planning for the state. For the study, the USGS is collaborating with the WSGS to compile and analyze hydrological data, including water quality for aquifers in each river basin. The design and layout of each report includes text and analyses, maps, databases, metadata, tables and graphics.

Additional WSGS groundwater basin reports will include the Platte River Basin (spring 2013), Bear River Basin (fall 2013) and Snake River Basin (fall 2013).


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