Agencies Begin Work On Treasure Valley Groundwater-Flow Model

Dec 20, 2016

A streamgage near Middleton, Idaho. It's one of the 10 streamgages the USGS has installed on Treasure Valley drains to collect data.
Credit John Carricaburu / USGS

The U.S. Geological Survey and the Idaho Department of Water Resources have begun work on a new model that will track how groundwater flows in the Treasure Valley. Underground aquifers store most of the Treasure Valley’s water.

The model is meant to help resource managers understand the aquifer system, at a time when demand for water continues to grow as the valley’s population increases.

In the next 50 years, the population of the region is expected to grow to 1.6 million people. The USGS has installed 10 new streamgages to measure flow in different parts of the valley. The agency already controls about 200 of these gages around the state, with data going back 100 years. Resource managers will collect data from the gages to use in the model, which will help them predict water use changes over time.
 
The project should be completed in 2021.
 
This is not the first state-and-federal partnership of its kind. A groundwater flow model was completed for the Wood River Valley earlier this year.

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