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Water resource assessment of the Citizen Potawatomi Nation Tribal Jurisdictional Area

In cooperation with the Citizen Potawatomi Nation
Contact: William J. Andrews, PhD or Derek W. Ryter, PhD


CPN water tower The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) Oklahoma Water Science Center has been working to characterize water quality and available water resources in the 960-square mile jurisdictional area of the Citizen Potawatomi Nation in central Oklahoma. The Citizen Potawatomi Nation wanted to know what parts of that jurisdictional area, primarily located in Pottawatomie County, would be likely to produce adequate water supplies of suitable quality for commercial and industrial users and rural water suppliers while limiting withdrawals from the North Canadian River.

A retrospective USGS scientific investigations report describing climate, land-use, geologic, and hydrologic features and gaps in those types of data was prepared. To update knowledge of water quality in this area, sampling of groundwater and surface water was conducted in the area and a USGS scientific investigations report describing data from those samples was published. A USGS scientific investigations report was prepared describing groundwater/surface-water models of hydrology of this area. A summary USGS scientific investigations report describing highlights of those three reports also was published.

A numerical groundwater-flow model was developed for the Central Oklahoma aquifer (Garber-Wellington) based on the model published in Mashburn and others (2013) that included the Citizen Potawatomi Jurisdictional Area. This model is more detailed than the original model and included alluvial aquifers in the Salt Creek, Little River, and North Canadian River Valley to help determine available water resources for economic development zones. This model was used to simulate the effects of an extended drought on groundwater in storage and base flow to streams.

Along the North Canadian River south of the city of Shawnee a detailed inset model was built and water pumping from the alluvial aquifer was optimized at two economic development zones using the Groundwater Management Process for MODFLOW.


Three-dimensional diagram of CPN numeric groundwater-flow model
SIR 2013-5010 USGS Scientific Investigations Report 2013-5010 titled "Analysis of Environmental Setting, Surface-Water and Groundwater Data, and Data Gaps for the Citizen Potawatomi Nation Tribal Jurisdictional Area, Oklahoma, Through 2011," was published to summarize existing hydrologic data and to identify gaps in those data that, if filled, would provide more comprehensive understanding of the water resources of that area. A digital atlas of this jurisdictional area also was completed in 2013.

SIR 2014-5178 USGS Scientific Investigations Report 2014-5178 titled "Stream-Water and Groundwater Quality in and near the Citizen Potawatomi Nation Tribal Jurisdictional Area, Pottawatomie County, Oklahoma, 2012–13," describes values of water properties and concentrations of selected chemical constituents in water-quality samples collected at 4 stream sites and from 30 wells in and near the CPN TJA in central Oklahoma from January 2012 to May 2013.

SIR 2014-5167 USGS Scientific Investigations Report 2014-5167 titled "Hydrogeological Framework, Numerical Simulation of Groundwater Flow, and Effects of Projected Water Use and Drought for the Beaver-North Canadian River Alluvial Aquifer, Northwestern Oklahoma," describes the construction, calibration, and analyses performed with numerical groundwater-flow models. Analyses include optimization of groundwater-resource use at two locations and estimating the effects of a prolonged severe drought on the total amount of groundwater in storage and streamflow at selected locations.

SIR 2015-5182 USGS Scientific Investigations Report 2015-5182 titled "Summary of U.S. Geological Survey Studies Conducted in Cooperation with the Citizen Potawatomi Nation, Central Oklahoma, 2011–14," summarizes highlights of previously published USGS scientific investigations reports of historical hydrologic data and estimates of water resources and gaps in existing data (Andrews and others, 2013), groundwater and surface-water quality (Becker, 2014), and simulations of groundwater and surface-water flow systems (Ryter and others, 2015). The CPN wanted these types of information to better understand the hydrologic resources of lands that their Nation owns and of surrounding areas.

Funding for this project was provided by a grant from the Administration for Native Americans of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and matching funds from the USGS Cooperative Water Program.

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