Water Resources of North Dakota

Variations In Water Quality and Detection of Agriculture Chemicals in Small Lakes and Wetlands Associated with the Warwick Aquifer on the Fort Totten Indian Reservation, North Dakota

By Robert M. Lent, Michael L. Strobel, and Oliver S. Gourd

Abstract: Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center, Wetland Symposium, Jamestown, North Dakota, August 9-13 1993



In 1993, the U.S. Geological Survey, in cooperation with the Devils Lake Sioux Tribe, is evaluating water quality of the Warwick aquifer on the Fort Totten Indian Reservation. The Warwick aquifer is a shallow, unconfined glacial-outwash aquifer that is susceptible to contamination by surface sources. Numerous small lakes and wetlands are located in topographic depressions that are hydrologically connected to the Warwick aquifer. These lakes and wetlands are located along ground-water flow paths and can act as recharge, flowthrough, or discharge points in the Warwick aquifer. Therefore, they may be point sources of contamination to the aquifer.

The objectives of the study include: (1) document the water quality of small lakes and wetlands associated with the Warwick aquifer and of the Warwick aquifer; (2) determine the chemical interactions between surface water and the Warwick aquifer; (3) determine the chemical evolution of water in surface water and the Warwick aquifer; (4) determine detectable concentration of agricultural chemicals (nutrients and pesticides) in small lakes and wetlands associated with the Warwick aquifer and in the Warwick aquifer; and (5) evaluate the potential for nonpoint-source contamination of the Warwick aquifer by agricultural chemicals.

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