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  • Operation of rain gauge and ground-water monitoring networks for the Imperial Valley Water Authority, year seven : September 1998-August 1999


  • The Illinois State Water Survey (ISWS), under contract to the Imperial Valley Water Authority (IVWA), has operated a network of rain gauges in Mason and Tazewell Counties since August 1992. The ISWS also established a network of ground-water observation wells in the Mason-Tazewell area in 1994. These networks are located in the most heavily irrigated region of the state. The region's major source of water for irrigation, municipal, and domestic water supplies is ground water pumped from thick sand and gravel deposits associated with the confluence of two major ancient river valleys, the Mississippi and the Mahomet-Teays. Relatively recent extreme weather events (e.g., the drought of 1988 and the great flood of 1993) resulted in large fluctuations in ground-water levels in the Imperial Valley area. The purpose of the rain gauge network and the ground-water observation well network is to collect long-term data to determine the rate of ground-water drawdown in dry periods and during the growing season, and the rate at which the aquifer recharges. This report presents data accumulated from the rain gauge and observation well networks since their inception through August and November 1999, respectively. Precipitation is recorded for each storm that traverses the Imperial Valley, and ground-water levels at the 13 observation wells are measured the first of each month. The database from these networks consists of seven years of precipitation data and five years of ground-water observations. At the beginning of the ground-water observations in late 1994, the water levels were at their highest in the five years of observation. These high ground-water levels were the result of the very wet 1992-1995 period when annual precipitation was above the 30-year normals at both Havana and Mason City. From September 1995-August 1997 precipitation in the region was below the 30-year normal. The 1997-1998 observation year had rainfall above the 30-year normal. Ground-water levels in the observation wells mirrored these rainfall patterns, showing a general downward trend during the dry years and a recovery in the wet 1997-1998 year. Seasonal increases in the ground-water levels were observed at most wells during the late spring and early summer, followed by decreases in August-November ground-water levels. Analysis indicates that the ground-water levels are affected by both the precipitation in the Imperial Valley area and the Illinois River stages. The observation wells closest to the Illinois River show an increase in water levels whenever the river stage is high. Generally, the water levels in the wells correlate best with precipitation and Illinois River stages one to two months before the water levels are measured, i.e., the June ground-water levels are most highly correlated with the Illinois River stage or precipitation that occurs in either April or May. The analyses conducted indicate the need for continued operation of both networks due to inconsistencies associated with ground-water levels, precipitation, and the Illinois River stage. For instance, the Mason-Tazwell observation well number 2 (MTOW-2) is located near the center of Mason County well away from the Illinois River, but it has an equal correlation with the Illinois River stage and the precipitation in the area. Additional analysis needs to be undertaken to explain this unusual finding.

Originally Deposited as: 999999994307

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Language(s): EN-English

Volume or Year: 2000
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Date Created: 9 24 2004
Date Last Modified: 5 13 2003

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1. Operation of rain gauge and ground-water monitoring networks for the Imperial Valley Water Authority, year seven : September 1998-August 1999 (20060930184112_ISWSCR2000-12.pdf).
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