August 1, 1953
Section 1 — 40 pages
Section 2—to follow—56 pages
(Annual Livestock Section)
• Can a Successful Well Be Located on Your Place?
• Hotv Deep Would You Have to Drill for One?
• What Quality of Water Can You Expect?
SOIL CONSERVATION GEOLOGISTS CAN HELP YOU
ANSWER THESE VITAL QUESTIONS
This illustration shows one of several conditions that may be present when
drilling for water. A. Thick bed of water-bearing sandstone (aquifer). B. Non
water-bearing shale. C. Well in this position would miss aquifer altogether and
would be dry unless deeper aquifer would be drilled into. D. Well in this
location would penetrate thin portion of shale and would obtain water from
sandstone at shallow depth. E. Well here would have to be considerably deeper
than al D to penetrate same aquifer. Water would rise to about same elevation
as in well at D. F. Surface outcrop of sandstone.
By DANIEL L. SIMMONS
Geologist, Soil Conservation Service
UCH of the value of a farm or ranch is in its
water supply. For that reason, the presence and
distribution of dependable water supplies is one of
the first things prospective buyers of agricultural
land want to know about.
In areas such as Montana, where surface water
supplies are restricted and usually far between,
groundwater must be drawn on to permit proper
utilization of our agricultural resources, particu
larly our vast grazing areas.
Wells must be drilled and springs developed in
order to supply livestock with water. This require
ment caused the Soil Conservation Service to fur
nish geologists, who have special training in the de
velopment and usage of groundwater supplies, to
several of the western states. Their job is to help
co-operators with Soil Conservation Districts—and,
in Montana, to state grazing districts that have
asked for SCS aid—answer the questions; "Where
can I put down a well with the least risk of having
a dry hole? How deep will I probably have to drill?
What quality of water will I encounter?
' Ground Water Geology
Groundwater geology is the determination of
where and at what depth the water-bearing and
non-water-bearing beds exist, and the quality of
the water. The purpose of the Soil Conservation
Service geologists is to give the information about
groundwater as it pertains tf> this particular loca
tion. They help the district co-operators interpret
available information, and supplement this infor
mation with geologic investigations.
Information about groundwater in Montana is
rather limited at present, since little, if any, in
vestigative work has been done in the greater part
of the state. The U. S. Geologic Survey has com
pleted some groundwater studies and is making
more. Otherwise, most geologic work that has been
done is concerned primarily with development of
oil or mineral resources. Basic information ob
tained in the oil and mineral surveys is similar to
what is needed in groundwater studies, however,
and can be interpreted (Please turn to page 32.)
This is first section of your Aug. 1 issue. Watch for
Annual Beef Production Section
soon to follow.
C O V E RS
AND NORTHERN, WYOMING
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: •: j
This well is powered with a gasoline engine, which pumps the water
into the large capacity wood-stave tanks. Float valves regulate the
water level in the troughs from which the Sheep drink, (SCS photos)
W7'«' . wwi
This is a development where the ground water level isapparently
the same as the water level in the drinking place. The drinking place
has been built up to the water level, so that there seldom is any over
flow, and the bank is held by a rock wall.
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