Artificial Recharge in South Platte River Basin

by Loren K. Weston, Geologist; Bureau of Reclamation, Denver, Colo.,
Robert E. Swain, Hydr. Engr.; Bureau of Reclamation, Denver, Colo.,

Serial Information: Journal of the Irrigation and Drainage Division, 1979, Vol. 105, Issue 2, Pg. 117-127

Document Type: Journal Paper


A reconnaissance level study of the potential for artificially recharging the alluvial aquifer along 110 miles (180 km) of the South Platte River from Fort Morgan to Julesburg, Colorado, was made based on published hydrologic and geologic information. Analyses were made to determine the availability of water for recharge; anticipated infiltration rates; potential storage capacity of the ground-water reservoir; the degree of ground-water mounding beneath potential recharge sites; the magnitude of annual drain-out loss to the river; possible water quality problems; and the potential effects on the South Platte River flows. Artificially recharging the alluvial aquifer appears to be technically feasible. Waterlogging conditions are likely to develop in areas that lie within 1 mile or 2 miles (1.6 km or 3.2 km) of the river. Due to the high dissolved solids concentration of the recharge water, the quality of the ground water in some areas may deteriorate and preclude its use for domestic and municipal water supplies.

Subject Headings: Groundwater quality | Water storage | Groundwater flow | Groundwater recharge | Municipal water | Artificial recharge | Rivers and streams | Recharge basins | Colorado | United States

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