An Independent Expert Panel reviewed proposals to develop water in within the Quartz Monzonite along the western boarder of Cedar Valley that crops out in the Harmony Mountains to as far north as Iron Springs Gap and north of The Three Peaks. There are also two Scientific reports conducted by the Utah Geological Survey and United States Geological Survey that provide further insight to the hydrological system in Cedar Valley:

The water that would be intercepted within the quartz monzonite is likely already connected to the wells in the alluvium near the Quichapa Lake area. Additionally, there is further risk in attempting to drill into this hydrologically connected fracture system. If the well was successful and produced a high yields it is still likely it would drain the fractures at a much higher rate then what can be recharged. -Hugh Hurlow & Philip Gardner

“Quichapa Group rocks crop out in the Harmony Mountains southwest of Cedar Valley, and likely continue into the subsurface of southwestern Cedar Valley without disruption by major faults. Quartz monzonite of the Iron Axis laccoliths also displays high to moderate fracture density … Outcrops of this unit along the western valley margin receive only about 10 to 12 inches (25-38 cm) of precipitation annually, so likely contain little developable water.” 1

The Quartz Monzonite is formed from lacoliths that are essentially big bulges of granite that have surfaced in a bulge in areas where the soils above allowed. – Dan Aubrey

The likelihood of large water volumes within them is very slim and if a large volume of water was found it would likely be finite in nature and would deplete quickly as the wells at the Iron Mines have proved to de-water and become unreliable. – Philip Gardner

The lacoliths are formed individually and are not equally fractured. It is difficult to draw the same conclusion of the church well drilled New Harmony to wells in the Quartz Monzonite west of Cedar Valley. The Church well was drilled within the Ash Creek drainage located at the confluence of multiple fracture systems and has the drainage from the north end of Pine Valley Mountains.

Legally and from a water rights perspective this area borders two water right boundaries – the Cedar Valley Basin & the Beryl-Escalante Valley Basin. Both of which are over-drafted and would not be considered as a new appropriation or sources of water. – Kerry Carpenter

“Tertiary-age quartz monzonite rocks that crop out in The Three Peaks and underlie much of the basin fill along the western margin of the basin north of the Three Peaks have a high to moderate fracture density. The small amount of annual precipitation (10-12in.) where these rocks crop out limits the potential for ground-water development.

The Quichapa Group is highly fractured and thus can readily transmit water. The underlying Tertiary-age volcanic rocks are tabular deposits of uniform lithology such that ground-water flow is unlikely to be disrupted by facies variation. These rocks continue into the subsurface uninterrupted by major faults and are in contact with the basin fill in the southwestern part of the basin. Some of the existing wells in the area might penetrate these rocks.”  2

  1. The Geology of Cedar Valley, Iron County, Utah, and its relation to ground-water conditions
  2. USGS Hydrology and Simulation of Ground-Water Flow in Cedar Valley​