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County Groundwater map (detail)

County Groundwater Surveys

Ongoing detailed county groundwater surveys deepen the knowledge-base for this critical resource.

In 2015 the CGS implemented a program for generating individual county-based geology and groundwater surveys as web-based applications tailored to inform the public, planners, and policy-makers about local geology and groundwater resources. The surveys address all aquifers that are utilized in each county including those in alluvial, sedimentary, and crystalline formations. Patterned after county-wide groundwater resource series produced in the 1960s through mid-1970s, this current effort is intended to address counties omitted from the earlier series where development pressures are straining current water resources. The surveys support and augment existing decision support and monitoring systems.

The surveys are currently addressing counties where development pressures are straining water resources and where comprehensive county-wide assessments have not been done. The work is also derivative of our ongoing participation in the USGS STATEMAP program which is part of the National Cooperative Mapping program focused on detailed 1:24,000 scale 7.5 quadrangle geologic mapping. The county surveys also build on other work by the CGS, including the 2003 Ground Water Atlas of Colorado which used Operational Account funding. The importance of groundwater is clearly recognized in Colorado’s Water Plan and these county-wide data-sets will assist in sound management of existing resources.

Each study takes between one and two years to complete. Counties completed to date include Chaffee, Douglas, Elbert, Mesa, and Park. La Plata County is in progress, and Bent is next in line after that.