Gaps in saline ground-water knowledge



               UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR
                          GEOLOGICAL SURVEY
                      WATER RESOURCES DIVISION
                         WASHINGTON 25, D. C.

                                              February 18. 1965
                                              Code 4050 0001


GROUND WATER BRANCH TECHNICAL MEMORANDUM NO. 2

To:       District Chiefs and Staff Officials, WRD

From:     Acting Chief, Ground Water Branch

Subject:  Gaps in saline ground-water knowledge

Saline ground-water has potential value wherever fresh water is,
or will be, in short supply.  Through district efforts,
coordinated by J. H. Feth, the Water Resources Division has
established leadership in compilation of saline ground-water
information.  The demand for copies of the open-filed national
saline-water map, soon to be printed as a Hydrologic Atlas,
indicates a keen national interest in saline water problems.

The information supplied by the districts for this map revealed
major gaps in information.  The purpose of this memorandum is to
inform each district of these gaps.  Local and national
governmental agencies and users of water, particularly in the
western states, are likely to require detailed information on
saline water in the future.  With respect to ground water, there
is a clear-cut deficiency in the following saline-water data:

     1.  Quantities of saline water that can be produced from
         ground-water basins and saline-water aquifers.
         Quantitative information is virtually nonexistent.  For
         example, most of the well and spring records complied for
         the saline water map were entirely without discharge
         information or the discharge figure was only an estimated
         one.

     2.  Characteristics of saline-water aquifers.  Very little is
         known about the areal distribution, thickness, lithology,
         gradation laterally and vertically into fresh-water
         aquifers, and coefficients of transmissibility and
         storage of saline water aquifers.

     3.  Hydrology.  Little is known of the hydrology of saline
         aquifers.  As a start, saline-water wells should be
         considered for inclusion in observation-well networks.

     4.  Incompleteness of the records already in files.  A large
         proportion of well and spring schedules submitted by the
         districts for the map compilation were incomplete.  A
         typical saline-water well schedule on file contains very
         little information.

     5.  More complete chemical information.  Many of the chemical
         analyses of saline-ground water on record offer only
         determination of chloride and specific conductance.  The
         importance of determining other ions (a standard analysis
         for major ions should be the aim) will grow rapidly as
         use of saline ground-water increases.

You are urged to consider increased accumulation of saline ground-
water information as a part of areal investigations wherever
practicable and wherever warranted.



                                   (s) Gerald Meyer
                                   for Joseph T. Callahan

WRD DISTRIBUTION:  A, B, S, FOL3, SL