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Q1 iiflomNs or4 USES
PAW PAW CiVER AS
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~i~l~ ~;rFd~ ~lq
STATE OF MICIGAN
WATER R RESOURCE
CONDITIONS AND USE8
PAW PAW RIVER BASIN
Prepared and Published
Water Resources Coomassion
2 r *
General Information 1
Description of the Area 2
Surface Water Resources 13
Drainage and. Floods 17
Ground Water Resources 19
Municipal and Industrial Water Supply 25
Irrigation Uses 29
Summary of Pollution Status 33
Recreational Uses 35
Power .,, 36
Conclusions and Recomendations 37
Notes Three maps, presenting drainage surfacee geology and irrigation systems,
will be found at the end of the report.
LIST i TABLrS. BIOMRBS AND MAPS
No. Title Pat
1 Population Trends of Municipalities 2
2 Population Trends of Townships 3
3 Annual Rainfall in Inches 5
4 Mean Annual Rainfall 6
5 Average Temperatures 7
6 Chemical Analysis of Paw Paw River 16
7 Chemical Analysis of Well Waters 24
8 Summary of Municipal Water Supplies 27
9 Summary of Industrial Water Supplies 28
10 Irrigated Crops 30
1 Thiessen's Precipitation Polygon 6
2 Plow Duration Curve, Paw Paw River at Riverside 14
3 Mean Monthly Discharge, Paw Paw River at Riverside 15
4 Growth Bate Curve of Irrigation 32
1 Drainage Map of the Paw PawiWatershed See
2 Surface Geology of the Paw Paw Watershed end of
3 Irrigation Map of the Paw Paw Watershed report
-* ..z ". .... "' "*""*-I'" .t.- ... ...^ .. i-, -' ,-, "., ,.. '
This report on the water resource conditions and uses of the Paw Paw
.iver Basin is the second of its kind to be completed by the Water Resources
Commission. The first, a report on the water resources of the Clinton River
Basin, was published in 1953. Reports are planned for other river basins in the
state where the husbandry of the water resources is or may become critical. The
Paw Paw is not a large watershed, yet there is present here a growing conflict
between uses of water for irrigation and water for industrial water dilution.
This situation becomes acute in the summer months, particularly during drought
The Commission staff has collected and analysed available data on the
water resources and uses from the files of industry, municipalities and
governmental agencies. Because of the growing use of water for irrigation,
staff members interviewed all known irrigators in the basin in order to deter-
mine the uses, practices and trends of this industry as they relate to other
water resources problems. The Commission is particularly indebted to the
farm irrigators, the Agricultural Agents of Kalamazoo, Tan.Buren and Berrien
counties and the District Horticultural Agent for assistance in the comple-
tion of this inventory of irrigation uses.
This report will serve to document these present uses and to indicate,
at least to a degree, bated on the limited data available, the availability
of the water resources of this basin. It would seem probable that future
increased uses of this resource for supply will be largely developed from
ground water sources. The chapters on the "Geology" and "Ground Water
Resources" indicate the desirability of such development.
The Paw Paw irver Basin occupies southern Van Buren, northern Berrien
and west central Xalamaaoo counties, extending from Benton Harbor nearly
Federal highway US-12 traverses the east-west length of the basin and
state highways 8-140, M-40 and M-119 cross it north and south. Numerous
primary county roads, join with these main arteries of traffic. The New
York Central and the Chesapeake and Ohio Railroad serve the cities and
Principal industrial activities are food processing and the manufacturing
of home appliances, paper, automobile parts and other metal products. A
number of wineries and small dairies also are operated in the basin.
The light, sandy loam soils are well suited to the production of fruits
and vegetables. These crops not only support the food processing industries,
but also contribute substantially to the world-famous Benton Harbor Truit
Market. The large acreages of fruits and vegetables require heavy employ-
ment of migrant workers during the growing and harvesting seasons. At
those times, small villages of these migrant workers are not unusual on the
A survey in the summer of 1954 reported 254 irrigation systems which
were supplying supplemental moisture to some 5,500 acres of vegetables,
fruits and specialty crops.
POPUL TION (1)
The population data for the major political subdivisions of the Paw Paw
Basin are shown in Tables No. 1 and 2.
Table No. 1
Population Trends of the Paw Paw River Basin
Area 1950 % Gain Population
City or Village se.mi. Density 1940-50 1950 1940 1930
Bentonq..rbor City 3.32 5,651, 12.60 18,769 16,668 15,434
Ooloa -. City .41 2,53w 8.44 1,041 960, 826
Watervliet --City .67 1,980 11.23 1,327 1,193 1,207
Van Buren County
Bartford Vill g .96 1,915 8.50 1,838 1,694 1,484
lawrence Village 1.38 492 0.0 679 679 570
Paw Paw IVillage 1,20 1,98,5 24.71 2,382 1,910 1,684
Lawton -- Village 2.25 536 6.35 1,206 1,134 1,164
aSoaiPtioN Or THE ABA
The Paw Paw River rises along the western edge of falamasoo County, flows
generally in a westerly direction some 60 miles to join the St. Joseph River
within the city limits of Benton harbor. The drainage area, consisting of
446 sq. miles, is shaped somewhat similar to the leaf of the burr oak. The
north and south branches join the main stem in Waverly Township in Vat Buren
County. The watershed is a rolling, glaciated region, ranging in elevation"
from practically Lake Michigan level (578') at the mouth, to elevations ofT
1000 feet at the eastern end of the basin.,
Table No. 2
Par Paw Blver Bsia
Van auren Oolaty
Paw Paw Township
Pine Grove Township
Prairie Bonade Towuship
S -,w -- --
The Kalasazoo eoraine just yest' the it ,of Xaauoo forms the divide
between the Paw Paw and Kalamasoo River Basins. Elevations between 90' and
1,000' above sea level.,re commOn along Ihs ridge-
Throughout the entire area, the soils consis slargeley. of aady loaos
with nmBerous, gravel tposita.6 commercial valueQ (The many lakes and marshes
in the headwater"area feed the stream, aAndthe saady loam soil. of. the basin,
being favorable, to rather high infiltration rates, maintakr ;setrable iound
water conditions.) These hydrological factors have produced a stable streak;
with greater base flows than other streams not too distant froi the Paw Paw.
The climate of this basin is considerably moderated by Lake Michigan
lying immediately to the west. In the region all along the lakes .eastern
shore, the extremes of temperature,both winter and summer, are reduced. This
great expanse of water warms very slowly in the summer and cools slowly in
the winter. The prevailLng westerly winds tend to carry this effect over the
leeward shore. Since most winter storms approach from the west, they are
made less severe, the temperature being 200 to 300 higher here than farther
inland during extreme cold spells. The Paw Paw Basin lies within the area
known as the fruit belt,where climatic conditions especially favor fruit
production. The slow warm-up in the spring retards the fruit buds until
danger of frost Is past and the reverse is true in the fall, allowing fruits
to ripen before killing frosts occur.
The average rainfall in this area is 35.52 inches (Table 4), about 5
inches more than the state average. Most of this rain,,lpcant during te
growing seasaq Seria d Troughts are rare, The most severe on record occurred
in 1908 covering a perio of 47 days in August, Sptember, a lqpber during
which time only .50 4 .7?5 inch* of rain: fell. pamperaturees 9bye 900 rand
below fare rare along the lake sharp.
___ 1__~_1 ____
Table No. 3
ANNUAL AIMnALL IN lmC=r (4)
alamazoor v Pay 8o. bfsm:
able No. 4
Deteaiantio a of Mean AW1a hinfLall on
Basin by Thiieunes Method (30 yrs. record) (4)
Arel Precipitation at ~igtod Proportioe,
lalt .bStat ionn. Inb ai
0.2326 33.288 7.74
0.0828 35.150 2.91
0.0441 36.592 1.61
0.0326 35.424 1.15
0.5540 36.742 20.35
.02532 32.691 L2
oa the aw r weait
SSEN POLYGON FOR DETERMINING MEAN
CIPITATION IN THE PAW PAW RIVER BASIN
, / South Haven ..._ .
faire so. 2.
Table No. 5
IBA!Ra Ag.PlHATs (4)
Tra. of Becord.
MAJOR STORMS 0 RBEORD WHICH HAVT OCURAED IN THE VICINITY OF THE PAW PAW
RIVER BASIN (5)
In 1895 between the 16-21 December, a storm of 144 hoursduration occurred
with its center at Three Rivers, Michigan. This storm put 35 ever the entire
Paw Paw River Basin, and at Three Rivers, Benton Harbor and Olivet 8.4", 6.60,
and 5.4", respectively.
In 1914 during 10-12 May, 1914, a storm of 48 hoursduration occurred with
centers at Adrian and Kalamazoo. This storm put 3" over the entire Paw Paw
River Basin and at Kalamazoo and Allegan 5.20" and 3.98W, respectively.
In 1914 during 31 August, and 1 September, a storm of 6 hoursduration
occurred with center at Cooper and Bloomingdale, Michigan. The storm put 3"
over the entire Paw Paw River Basin and at Cooper and Blooaingdale 11.0" ad
10.4" of rain fell in the 6 hours.
In 1918 during 13-14 March, a storm of 36 hoursduration occurred wih
centers at Throwbridge, Charlotte, Ann Arbor. The storm put 2" over the entire
Paw Paw River Basin and at Bloomingdale 4.2" fell.
In 1941 between 30 September 7 October, 1941, a storm of 186 hours
duration occurred with its center in Davis, Oklahoma. This stora,which was
generally over the upper Mississippi Valley,covered the southern half of the
lower peninsula with 3" rain and at Zau Claire, Michigan, there were9.0".
Heavier concentrations of rainfall from local thunderstorms may have
fallen between the recording stations. This often happens because of the
small area covered by such storms and the relatively long distances between
rainfall recording stations.
_ __I __1~1~
aOUW-T (2) (3)
The geology of an area the nature and arrangement of its earth materials -
governs very importantly the occdrence and behavior of its water remoureea.
It strongly influences runoff and infiltration rainfall. It determines
where and how much underground water storage occurs. It aff cts drainage,
stream flow and. lake loevia, and has much to do with the cheaieal content W
The earth materials of the Paw Paw River Basin, fro6 the land surface
to dpth beyond the bottoas f most water wellsare (glacial drift" the
debris deposited by ancient gaie Under t glacial drift i Coldwate
shale a dense, fine grained rock which was d 6loed ftroa water-laid lays
through eons of compression and cementation. The clay were deposited i *'
one of the shallow inland seas which,millions of year ago, covrf ed this
whole region. Long afterward, the shale wea raise above eba level, becaae
dry land on which was developed. an undulating terrain, with hills, valleys,
and plateaus. Some of the irregularities in the bed' rock surface ar
ohannel-like depre ions which are undoubtedly extinct river valley. They
were formed long before the glaUcier spread their mantle of sand, silt, clay,
and gravel. Buried. valm ys in other parts of the state contain gravel we'
which are iapertant sources of v"e water. 1utur' drilling miy discilso
buried channel gravel in the Paw Paw basin.
The thickness of the glacial drift varies considerably from place to 0lace
beceaise the glacier deposited drift of varioua thicknesses, and both the la38" .
surface and the underlying bedrock surface are uneven. The drift is more than
400 feet thick in some parte of the basin, more than 200 feet thiek throughout
most of the basin and not less than 100 feet thick at any point yet tested. :
Information on this subject comes largely .fom oil ad. gas well resordi, whis
are on file with the Geological Survey Division of the Michigan Department of
The different geological features of the glacial drift are classified
according to how they were formed. The action of the gigantic ice sheets was
varied and colorful. They left clear evidence of their behavior, which is
corroborated by observations of existing continental glaciers, such as now
cover Greenland. Briefly, the story is this:
The glaciers formed because of a reduction in average annual temperature
which permitted the snows of each succeeding winter to stay in part unmelted
through the summers. ,Year by year, the snow piled up in parts of Canada -
just as it does in Antarctica and Greenland today until it became so thick
that its great weight forced it to flow outward in all directions. Grinding,
shoving, gouging., and sliding, the huge ice mass,- miles thick at its center,
crept southward century by century until it covered all of North America
(with some isolated exceptions) south to a line now marked approximately by
the Ohio and Missouri rivers. The ice did not move as a rigid block, but
kept splitting horizontally with'rearward bottom layers being shoved up over
forward bottom layers a "leapfrogging* progress, if the ponderous and
deliberate motions of a glacier may be described in such flippant terms. That
over-riding of ice layers brought vast quantities of earth materials up into
the ice mass and carried them far southward. In every farm stone pile of
Michigan, we find granites and other rocks of Canadian origin. It is
important to understand that our present glacial drift was brought southward
in the ice not under it, as plaster, for example, is spread under the trowel.
The glacial drift was deposited when the ice finally melted. Had the
ice simply melted where it lay, the placement qf its incorporated earth materials
wou14,have been in a relatively simple pattern. However, the ice kept flowing
atawrd intermittently while melting backward from i4a tetrinal edges. Aand ea.
the edge retreated back northward into Michigan, the dyaig glacier gradually
divided into forward flowing lebes" which followed the great valleys now
occupied by the Great Iakes.
Climate in glacial time vasted from year to year a dd decade to decade,.
as it does in modern times. This variation ceased ao oscillating movement inma
the glaciers edge. When warm weather prevailed, backward aeltig, dominated
forward ice movement, and during coaer periods, the reaersee as true. _.q
each seesanive readvance, and daring times when the two free were Aska t
ia balance, the Ice freot bulliosed up Pwindre of the earth materialss its
melting had released, hece rews or belts of ice-shoed dr t are identified
as morainee. The moraines, oe the Paw Paw basin, having been forced by the
lake NJehigan ice lobe, roughly parallel the present Lake Michigam hore.
Bach moraine is named for an area where it is a dietinet topographic feature.*
The easternoet of the *Pw Paw basins meraines hhe Kalamaso moraine ,
forms the basin's eastward headwaters. Other orainio belts in the nr.ther,.
central, a~d western parts of the basin are eoqpnents of the Valparaiso
sorainae syste... The Uake Border moraine lies aleag tpn northwetern edge-..
of the basin frea Sentoa Barber through Orthestern Coloa Twnship.
As aight be asseaed from the aede off formation, the a&aterial of oraites
is a&iedl, jumbled-arrangement oj all sorts, from clays to great boulders.
however, since the iet fret aset only deppoited earth ,but also spewed forth
great torrents ofa salt water, lee -Aepeit of washed gravel and sand are.
common to this type of glacial feature.
The escaping melt waters arrived much material with them and deposited-:
the* as sheet s or hapaels of "oi'tish* clean, highly pevieus sead ant ,
gravel bed s. : t o ..:;- : ;
Melt waters of the glacier during the tiae of its retreat acreess the Paw
'~~'~r*~t!i2' rr;-....i ri~~ ..,~
Paw basin drained generally toward the southwest. Naturally, the water followed
the .lay of the land.', sometimes and in some places lying pounded in broad.
shallow lakes which drained later when lover avenues of escape became vtncevered
to the west. That ponding permitted finer particles to settle out, but the
absence of heavy clay soils in the ponding areas indicates a deficiency of
such materials in the glacial load in this region.
During periods when the ice lay stagnant and melted and evaporated down
from the top, it deposited the mixed materials which it had picked up and
incorporated within its mass. Under 'sch conditions the earth materials did
not have an opportunity to become Washed by the melt waters. They still contain
the clay and silt particles and tend to be denser than the outwash plains.
Such features are called "till" plains or ground moraines. In general, they
are good farm lands. Even the till plains are quite porous in the Paw Paw
Many other types of deposits were formed by the glacier, but these
three moraine, till plain, and outwash plain- make up the greater part of
this area. One feature which may puzzle the observer is the rock-like
material appearing in some gravel pits, road cute, or natural banks. This
material has the appearance and hardness of sandstone or conglomerate. .It '
is not bedrock, however, but merely glacial drift which has become cemented
with lime carried in the ground waters. It is known as "crag". A few large
blocks of Marshall sandstone are found at scattered points. These, like
other rocks in the glacial drift, were freighted in by the glacier,
Far further detail, the reader is referred to U. S. Geological Survey '
Monograph 53, by Leverett and Taylor; and Publication'48 Michigan Geological
Survey; Pt.1l The Glacial Geology and Ground Water Resolrees of Vaenure ounry,
by F. Wells Terwilliger. Map No. 2 shows the surface geology of the basin.
SUaACO WOWUR a MsCS (6)
The United States Geological.Survey established a stream gaging station
on the PPaw Paw at Riverside in September, 1951. Complete records of discharge
for the years 1952, 1953, and 1954 from this continuous recording station were
used in the study of hydrologic characteristics of the basin.
Lacking discharge records of a relatively long period, which are essential
in the statistical study of discharge, a correlation between the Paw Paw and
three other streams, the Kalamasoo, the Battle Creek, and the Thornapple, was
developed in order that a more reliable picture of discharge characteristics
could be presented. These three rivers are closely related to the Paw Paw
geographically and are rather similar in topography and soil types. Figure
No. 2 is a synthetic flow-duration curve ef discharge of the Paw Paw River.
As indicated above, it was prepared by correlation of the three years of
record of the river with those of three other streams which are closely
associated with the Paw Paw, and have longer periods of records. Such a
curve shows the percentage of time any given discharge is equaled or exceeded.
Prom the curve it is determined that river discharge is equal to or exceeds
0.42 c.f.s. per square mile, 98 per cent of the time; in other words, in an
average year the flow will be less than 188 c.f.s. at Riverside only 7 days
in the year. This is in rather sharp contrast to the Clinton River Basin
where similar studies indicate a discharge equal to or exceeding 0.075 c.f.s.
per square mile, 98 per cent of the time.
A study of the geology of these two basins reveals, at least in part,
the answer. The Paw Paw basin is composed principally of glacial drift
consisting of sandy and gravelly loams. Many lakes are interspersed through-
out the basin, some of which are directly connected to the river system.
Such glacial developments have high rates of infiltration and are very
favorable to stable stream flows, releasing greater quantities of water as
Figure No. 2
PAW PAW RIVER AT RIVERSIDE
391 Sq. Mi.
zo - --- -- -_ ---_--
I Synthetic Long Term
4' Recorded Stream Flow
3 --~~~~- -- -= -^ -. -- --..--- __ -_ _
0 .4 ---9 -" "_, _,
4 i07 --- __ __ *^ __ __ . i -
ao -_ _ _ ZZ -^ -~
QOj0 __ _ __ _ ~
04 0 4 -- - _ __ __ __ _
tt 0 3 __ __ __ _ _
aQ O t _ _ _ _ _
? ======= ==== =========
Iu LU 30 40 50 60 70 80 90 95
TIME IN PERCENT OF TOTAL PERIOD
98 99 995 998939
vU W l Ul L ILJ
I I I I
Figure No. 3
PAW PAW RIVER AT RIVERSIDE
Mean Monthly Discharge
Jan. 1952 _Dec. 1954
Jan. Feb. Mar. May June July Aug.Sept Oct.' Nov. Dec
base flow to the system. In contrast,in the Clinton Basin, the headlands area,
about 1/3 of the basin, is rolling glacial till, poorly drained and containing
numerous swamps and lakes and the remainder is old lake-bed plain consisting
of very dense clayey soils, whose runoff tends to be flashy. Once these
heavier soils become saturated, they do not release these waters as readily
as natural drainage,
Samples of river discharge at 6 stations were collected for chemical
analysis. Table No. 6 presents the results of this analysis.
Table No. 6
CHKEMIAL ANALYSIS OF PAW PAW RIZVR
Iron, as Ie
Na and E
Near Bridge at Watervliet
Biverside Coloa Paer Oo.
296 260 260
10. 10. o0.
0.45 0.15 0.4
54. 52. 52.
20.7 20.7 20.7
13.7 9,8' 10.8
#one oene Hone
10. .7. 7.
36. 28. 29.
244. 239. 239.
None None None
220. 215. 215.
0,0 .0.0 0.0
7.6 7.5 7.5
500. 460. 460.
Notes All Results are
XI^ _* _I~ r I ___ ______ __ _I __^____ __ _____ __ 1
DRAAGU8. AMD FLOODS (8). (9)
A complete drainage map of the basin (Map No. 1)Jis i eluded ia the baek
of the report showing natural and artificial waterceurses. The main stem of
the Paw Paw River drains an area of 446 square miles and is sgoe,60 miles in.
length. Although this river basin is not considered one of the major flee
problems of the state there are two areas where high water has caused con-
siderable damage. These two problems are the flooding ef the cottages o
Paw Paw Lake and the flooding o highways, railroads, and industries# in Rnta
Harbor by the overflowing of Ox Oreek..
Cottage owners on Paw Paw Lake have suffered damages from high lake levels
during the heavy spring runoff, igh levels in the S awP River result ii
a reversal of flow and allow direct inflow from the Paw Paw River into the ,
lake, which is coanected to the main stem by a channel., In April, 1947,
heavy precipitation occurring in this area raised the level of Paw Paw Lake
to 627.10 feet,which is 6.13 feet above the lowest level eofrecord occurhr ng ,
on April 15, 1941. Lake levels of 627.19 feet elevation caused flooding ef
foundations of 84 cottages, interfered with septitan ta* operation and subjected
well to the possibility of pollution...
Flooding in the o-rtheastera section of Aeaton harbor has been due ,,
primarily to flash floods on Ox Creek. This creek with a watershed of about
15 square miles has a reported fall of 8 feet per mile through the city and
14 feet per mile in the upper reaches. The upper reach of Ox Creek is an
improved county drain named the Tore & Stoeffer drain. During periods of
heavy rains the channel cross section and the bridge openings in Benton
Harbor were inadequate to pass the runoff from this small watershed. In
the lower reaches, near its outlet into Paw Paw River, the stream has a
very flat slope and becomes sluggish, particularly when the Paw Paw River
and St. Joseph are also at high stages. It is near this flat, swampy land
that numerous industries have located and it is here that the greatest flood
daAhges have occurred in the past.'
Information from the City of Benton Harbor indicates that in the years
1943, 1947, and 1950 ,flods caused: damage to these industries located near
Immediately following the 1950 flood, the City of Beaten Harbor initiated
remedial measures to correct this flood condition. A study was made by the
city engineering staff to determine the necessary channel capacity and upon
their recommendations the channel was cleaned, deepened, widened, and straightened,
and bridges with larger openings were built. Unless there are more drainage
improvements in the upper reach, the fled condition on 0t Creek is believed
The 1947 flood in April not only caused flood damage at Paw Paw Lake
and lA-x Csreek areas, but was responsible for the failure of low-head dams
at Lawrence and Hartford.
:Becase of the relatively high infiltration capacity of the sandy loam
soils found in the Par Paw watershed, and because the flood plains have not
been developed to any great extent, flood problems in this basia have been
spotty, with relatively little damage occurring as, compared to other water-
she d- in the state. *
~~I ~__ ____~I~_
~-""im,. .. .- ------- -- ---- ----- -- ------ .-.,.~.-.~~.
GaOD WVATRa ssOUaRCE (1o) (3) (14)
Potable ground water in the Paw Paw River Basin is obtained almost entirely
from the glacial drift. Although some fresh water is in limestone layers of
the underlying Coldwater formation, it is not a dependable reserve because
the limestone is not only lenticular, but also permeability is irregular.
The glacial drift in the Paw Paw River Basin is divided into; (1) the
Kalamasoo morainic system at the head, eastern part of the basin; (2) the
Valparaiso morainic system in the intermediate part of the basin; and (3)
the tills and lake bottom sediments between the Valparaiso morainic system
and the shore of Lake Michigan in the lower western part of the basin.
TOh KALAMAS00 MORAINIC SYSTEM
The xalamazoo moraine in the Paw Paw watershed is composed mainly of
gravelly and sandy drift underlain in places by clay till at moderate depth.
Wells on the inner ridge are 70 to 80 feet deep, but decrease in depth down
the back slope of the ridge toward the Dowagiac Drainage Channel. Several
wells, as much as 130 feet deep, are in the crest of the inner ridge. The
drift shown by the log of an oil test well in the Sj* 83 Sj) section 5,
Porter Township, is 447 feet thick. This well penetrated a good water
zone at 174 feet. The log of an oil test well drilled in a re-entrant in
the inner ridge near Mattawan, where the surface is about 100 feet below
the crests of the adjoining ridges,records:
Sand and gravel 240 2
Sand, reddish at 240
Sand and gravel 63 303
At Mattawan, domestic wells drilled in the till plain are some 20 feet in
depth, but on the moraine, water is obtained at 90 feet.
Other wells in the moraine show that the drift overlyig the COAdwter
shale bedrock, is 350 to 450 feet thick... Wells on the crest of the outer
ridge are 100 to 140 feet deep. The deepest wells are in sections 1 and 12,
Porter Township. Wells drilled in the weak morainic ridge which runs from
Almena in a southwesterly direction to the Paw Paw River just east of Paw
Paw are 30 to 100 feet deep, depending on topographic position.
Wells in the outwash in southeastern Almena Township are 50 feet deep;
in sections 25 and 36, Antwerp Township, they are 60 feet deep; in sections
9 and 16, Porter Township, 75 feet; in southeastern Decatur Township, 40 to
50 feet. Deeper aquifers are indicated by oil tests in sections 9 and 16,
Porter Township. The log of the well in section 9 shows very good water zones
at depths of 144 and 273 feet. A half mile south in section 16 a zone of
fresh water 25 feet below the top of the Coldwater limestone was drilled
into at a depth of 500 feet. Artesian aquifers are encountered in sections
12 and 13, Almena Township, at the Wolf Lake State Fish Hatchery. A 3-inch
well at the CommUity House, drilled to a depth of 70 feet in 15 feet of
water-bearing gravel, flowed 60 gallons a minute, with a head of seven feet
when completed. A farm well three-tenths of a mile west, completed at 68
feet, flows 40 gallons a minute. A well owned by Mr. H. Hatt, three-fourths
of a mile southeast of the Hatchery Community House, has a steady year around
flow with a head of seven feet from a higher aquifer than the aquifer which
supplies the wells in the drainage-way. The Hatt well is on the back slope
of the moraine, and was drilled through 80 feet of clay hardpan. Two springs,
one-eighth and one-fourth of a mile south of the Hatt well, flow 90 and 194
gallons per minute, respectively, apparently from under the same clay hard-
pan. At the village of Lawton at the contact of the inner ridge and the till
plain behind it, the old village well was 44 feet deep and water from it had
a total hardness of 228 parts per million. A new well, drilled in 1953 for
the city, was completed at a depth of 110 feet. It is 12 inches in diameter
and showed a drawdown of 60 feet after pumping 930 gallons per minute for
__II ~____~~_ _____ 1~___1--------------1
five hours. The well did not completely penetrate the sand,
VALPARAISO MORAINIC SYST
Some wells in the Dowagiac Drainage Channel in Decatur Township find water
Just beneath the surface, but aest wells are 12 to 20 feet deep. Along the
northwest side of the channel, an artesian aquifer is 80 to 100 feet below
the surface. An oil test in section 14, Deeatur Township, reported a flow
of fresh water at the rate of 500 gallons per minute froa the Coltwater
limestone at a depth of 216 feet. A flow estimated at 1,000 gallons per
minute, from a depth of 160 feet, was reported from an oil test well in section
32. A celery washing plant in Decatur is using an artesian well reportedly
finished at 150 feet. In Paw Paw Township, wells in the channel on each side
of Prospect Bill reach depths of 20 to 50 feet; the average depth is less
than 35 feet. Flowing wells have been constructed along the north side of
Maple Lake at Paw Paw. In Almena Township, wells in the channel are 20 to
38 feet deep. -A flowing well in section 20 is 70 feet deep, another in
section 29 is 45 feet deep; both wells have low head.
In the Paw Paw Drainage Channel, the water table is close to the surface
and nearly all its wells are shallow. An oil test in seotion 5, Paw Paw
Township, penetrated water-bearing sand from 43 to 93 feet. Lawrence nuni-
cipal wells are 90 and 106 feet deep. Flowing wells 30 feet deep are in
sections 31 and 32, Waverly Township, which have a 2-foot head. The record
of an oil test in the 8t1 85t SW. section 19, Waverly Township, shows a
drift thickness of 480 to 500 feet and flowing water from 120 to 160 feet.
In the great area of outwash in the south half of Van Buren County,
wells 10 to 25 feet deep in the vicinity of Eagle Lake in southwestern Paw
Paw Township, are surrounded by wells 30 to 80 feet deep farther away from
the lake. Wells in Keeler and Hamilton Townships are 20 to 40 feet deep,
No wells in Deeatur Township are more than 60 feet deep. Wells in the high
outwash and moraine; of northwestern Paw Paw Township are 70 to 90 feet deep
and have a static water level of 50 or 60 feet.
An irrigation well in section 21, Keeler Township, is 110 feet deep.
Another well just east of Three Mile Lake in Paw Paw Township, was completed
at 68 feet. The static level of this well is 3 feet below the surface, and
pumping at the rate of 1,300 gallons a minute produced a drawdown of 28 feet.
MORAINIC BELT AND INCLUDED TILL PLAINS AND OUTWASH PLAINS
The moraine and till plain in Van Buren County proves the rule that the
rougher the terrain, the coarser is the material in the glacial drift. The
Valparaiso moraine, Bainbridge Township, Berrien County, is pierced by wells
of great variation in depth and in head. In Keeler Township, Van Buren County,
wells are 60 to 80 feet deep. They are deeper in Lawrence and Arlington
Townships 80 to 140 feet in the high moraines and less than 80 feet at
lower altitudes. Farther east in Waverly Township, wells are shallower, being
60 to 80 feet deep. Records of Pine Grove Township wells show wide variation
from the outwash east of Gobles, where the wells are 35 to 112 feet deep and
average 50 feet to Kendall Ridge where two important aquifers supply water.
In one aquifer, wells are 20 feet deep, and in the other, wells are from 70
to 115 feet. In the area of outwash in sections 27, 32, and 33, some wells
are 40 and 45 feet deep. The morainic hill south of Hartford boasts a well
115 feet deep with a static water level of 75 feet. An oil test well in
section 13, Waverly Township, showed a very good water-bearing formation from
30 to 170 feet. Along the moraine running through the hamlet of Glendale,
wells are constructed 90 to 155 feet deep.
Wells in the extinct lake bed west of Glendale in Arlington Township,
Van Buren County, are 20 to 30 feet deep. Wells in the moraine in the south-
east quarter of Bloomingdale Township average 90 feet in depth and the water
~____1_1_ 1_____~_ _II___ __ ~I~____~__~ __1__LII____I___I___
~ir_~i~CI._.- ___~_ ___ __ __ _______________ __ ___ -I
stands between 10 and 20 feet from the surface. a the sae., township in. the
immediate vicinity of All Lake, eetions 13, 14, 23,, and 24 the .ells are,
about 50 feet deep, the static level is about 25 feet below lake level. A
well one-half mile northwest of the lake in section 14 is 100 feet deep and
has a static level of 18 feet. Wells on the outwash plain east of Gobles
in Pine Grove Township, range in depth from 35 to 112 feet,
In the till plain behind the TalpPraie so orie, the water table is
relatively high. Pitcher pumps are common in the field adkthe majority
of fara wells are 50 feet deep, although some are ,7 or 80 feet dee p. n
a once-flowing well area around ush Lake, in northwestern Hartford Township,
the head has recently fallen below the ground surface.
In Berrien County, the area waet of or behind the Valparaiso Moraine
and in front of the Lake Border moraine, formed an iapondment at the junor -
tion of the St. Joseph and Paw Paw livers. It ie covered with glacial
drift 50 to 150 feet thick above the bedrock of Coldwater formation. Channels
and lens like depressions cut on the surface of the Coldwater formation are
filled with a coarse gravel a few feet thick, Above the gravel is a bed
of lake clay that averages 100 feet in thic3oes a and above the lake clay are
alluvial sands, gravels, and silts which range from a thin film to 10 feet
in thickness. The gravel lenses beneath the clay furnish most of the water
to the wells.
The glacial drift of the whole Kalamazoo morainic system in the drainage
area of the Paw Paw River is capable of producing large amounts of fresh
water for irrigation. The presence of aquifers, deeper in the drift than those
ordinarily reached by the wells in the district, is indicated by the logic of
oil test wells.
The Valparaiso Morainic System, in the Paw Paw River drainage basin, is
capable of producing large amOunts of water for irrigation, especially in the
large area 6f outw~sh in the southern half of Van Buren County where as much
as 1,300 gallons a minute has been pumped from one well with only 28 feet of
The morainic belt with its included areas of outwash, till plains, and
extinct lake beds, varies geatly'in the depth of wells and the elevation
of the water surface in the well when in a static condition. In the moraines,
wells are deeper in the center of the belt toward the northeast, but wells
are shallow near the drainage divided.
Behind, west of, the Valparaiso Morainic System in the till plain, the
water table is high and the wells average 50 feet deep. In the old lake bed
in the valley of the Paww Pa River in Berrien County, large quantities of
water may be produced in a bed of gravel lying on the bedrock surface, below
a bed of clay that has an average thickness of 100 feet.
Table No. 7
Partial Chemical Analysis of WVels in the Paw Paw River Basin
Village of Village of Village of City of Village of
jM ..e GLes Hartford Ooleoa. Paw Paw
Iron as fe 1.5 Trace .5 .75 Trace
Chloride- Cl 9 4 6 7 13
Hardness, CaC03 245 215 245 280 205
pH 8.1 8.1 8.2 8.1 8.0
H003 276 220 260 320 230
Conductance 500 430 500 540 450
Sulfate 804 30 39 45 28 24
Note: All results are reported as parts per million (7)
MIORM IM I
Bento Harbor Ci'ty of' Binton Harbor's source of water supply is Lta"'
Michigan. The average daily' snsumption dfr the years 1953-54
was 2368,000 gallons per Ay. Nearly 50 of all water
consumed is used y' commercial "and industrial customers.
Bent on Harbor ith 18,769 personal 'ai population which
is over twice as large as all their Aunieipalities in the
Paw Paw Basin.
Coloma The City of Ooloma's source of *tir S pply is five wells,
te diaaeters ofhich are 10' 6", 2-3' and a 2". Depths
of these wells are reported' to be 100 feet. The city con-
sum es an aerge 7 600 'gallone per day, of which ne
industry uBei 14,800 gallohi'per day.
Goble -1 The Village of Gobles source^ of' water sBupply is three wells,
'the diameters o wiieh are 26 6*-and an 8'. Depths of these
wells are reported to be 106-109 ftet. The well system
produces average ej75,000 a9llnAsepr day for the
population of 622 and the maximum summer pumpage is reported
to be 165,000 allows per day.
Hartford The Village of Hatford's source of water supply is three
wells, the diameters of which are 2-12* and 8". Depths
are reported to be 60 feet for the 8" well and 100 feet
for the lZ' wells. These wells produce an average of
190,000 gallons per day and have a maximum pumping rate
of 400,000 gallons per day.
Lawrence The Village of Lawrence's source of water supply is 2-120
wells, whose depths.are reported to be 100 feet. These
Paw Paw -
wells produce approximately 66,500 gallons per day average
and have a maximum pumping rate of 113,000 gallon per day.
The Village of Lawton's source of water supply is four
wells, the diameters of which are 2-12' and 2-16". Depths
of these,wells vary from 45 feet to 100 feet. The village
consuaes an average of 592,000 gallons per day with 70%
of this amount supplied to the Welch Grape Juice Company.
The maxiaum pumping rate is reported to be 2,000,000 gallons
per day. The major water consuming industries supplied
by Lawton are:
Welch Grape Juice Company 412,000 gpd
laton Manufacturing Company 38,200 gpd
Gold Medal Dairy Company 14,600 gpd
The. Village of Paw Paw's source of water supply is 3 wells,
whose diameters are 12", 16", and 30", and whose depths
vary fro a72 feet to 106 feet. The village consumes an
average of 250,000 gallons per day. Two industries supplied
by the city are;
Paw Paw Vine Company seasonal supply 35,400 g.p.d.
Paw Paw Plating Company 11,000 g.p.d.
The city's source of water supply is 2 wells, whose diameters
are both 6". Depths of these wells are reported to be
209 feet and 217 feet. The city consumes an average of 73,000
gallons per day and in 1953 the maximum was 190,000 gallons
per day. All the industries in the city are relatively
small users of water except the Watervliet Paper Company
which supplies its own requirement.
Table -o. 8
MIPAL VATR SUPPLY PAW PAW RR BAS
0MCIPAL -,':. SOMI OF P** M P" 0 IV BASIN
.___ W_____0M _MO_ Gal. Per
Population Source of Be sapentiir C aita
MmuiciaiitR 1i990 Supply ,a trial ann. otee. t.... Per Day
Table No. 9
INDUSTRIAL WAMBR SUPPLIES CO THE PAW PAW RIVER BASIN *
Industry a ndLoeation Source of Suply Pr
M. Steffin an~ Coupany
Ooloma Cooperative Canning Co.
Burnette fares Paeing Co.
Bronte Champagne & Wine-Co.
Auto Specialties Mfg. o0.
Frigid Foods (Keeler)
Lawrence Frosen Foods
Lawrence Packing Co.
St. Julian Wine Co, Inc.
Michigan Wineries, Inc.
Paw Paw Canning Co.
Maple Dairy Co.
Riadon Wine & Champagne Co.
A. F. Murch Champagne Co.
Waterrliet Paper Co.
2 Wells (4L dia. 92' deep)
3 Wells (1-12" dia. 94' deep,
1-i-8 & 1-4 ..iaa. 74V deep) 11
3 Wells (2-6" & 1-8" dia.-170'deep)
2 Wells (1-l" dia. 72' deep .&
1-6" dia. 130' deep)
3 Wells (2-10" A 1-6" dia. 143' eep)
2 Wells (8" dia. & 2" dia.-85' deep)
1 Well (8" dia. 80' deep)
2 Wells (8" dia. 90' deep)
2 Wells (12" dia. 188' deep &
'1" dia. 90 deep)
1 Well (8" dia. 88' deep)
2 Wells (8" dia. 110' deep)
3 Wells (4" dia. 52' deep)
2 Wells (4" & 6" dia.)
2 Wells (8" dia. 100' andl40' deep)
12 Wells (7-17" dia. A 5-12" dia.
all 100' deep) 5,000,000
* This tabulation lists the major,water-using industries that produce all
or part of their requirements.
** Used seasonally.
I'- I-I '-~- '~ -~--- -- ------ ---------- --- --- ----- ---
A detailed feld survey of irrigation usee in the Paw Paw watershed was
conducted during the sruaer of 1954 by the staff: of the Water Resources
Camission. Information gainedo in this survey revealeA that the first system,
in the basai was placed in eperatioa in 1929. a* e growth ot the u eto
irrigation was rather slow until the aid-eorties,when 27 system were an pokr
tion. Since 1949 the growth has been at a Meh greater rate and the survey
reveals 234 systems in operation in 1954. total eareage under irrigation
during 1954 was 5,563 acres. One thousand seventeen hundred areas were
irrigated from ground wates sources, 3,686 acres froa surface sources sad
860 acres were applied by systems using both surface and ground water supplies.
Nap No. 3 shows the distribution of irrigation in the basin.
Table No. 10 presents data on acreage of various crop under irrigation
in 1954. 50% of the total acreage va devoted to fruit crops production, 37%
to vegetable crops and 13% was utilized for mint, pasture, flowes,- and
Information on irrigation practices in the basin indicates that the
average annual application amounts to approximately 5 inches. Ratss of
application were generally as follows
Crop / A~rielation Bate ApiLest.LonMs l Teat
Berries 1 to l" 3 to 4
Potatoes 1" to l' 46 to 8
Asparagus 3/4* to 1" 2
Tomatoes 1" to lf' 4 to 5
Truck Crops 1" to 4 to 5
Tree Pruit 1 1 2 to 3
hint 1 to 1"* 4 to 5
]lowers 1 4 to 8
It is estimated that approximately 760 million gallons of water, pumped
from wells or surface water sources, were utilized for irrigation purposes
during the 1954 growing season. Information from the survey indicated that
20% of this total was pumped from ground water wells. Irrigation systems
are of the spray type and pumping units range in capacity between 300 and 500
gallons per minute.
Table No. 10
IRRIGATED CROPS IN THE PAW PAW BASIN
Truck & Field Crops 1.23~
Other Tree Fruits 419
Flowers & Nurseries 336
Total Acreage Under Irrigation 5,563
During the early growing season, below-freesing temperatures often
occur at night. Tarsers report that a continuous application of water
by overhead spray irrigation has proven effective in preventing frost
damage to blossoming strawberries. Generally, rate$ of .10 inch per hour
at temperatures, down to 20 7, are successful.
Figure o. 4 is a growth rate curve of irrigation systems utilized
in the Paw Paw basin since 1929 when the first unit was installed. The
curve has been extended in order to estimate future growth of irrigation
water supply requirements. from this extension it is estimateA that
approximately 1,000 systems may be in operation by 1961. ,Assuing that
new units to be added will serve the same average acreadt per unit, it
would appear that over 20,000 acres may be under irigaLtion by this date.
Annual water requirements to support this operate wnwill amount to at
least 3 billion gallons. If present trends cetinme, 40 of this needed
supply will be drawn directly front -the Paw Paw river. Such withdrawals
will reduce streak flow in the lower re che of the stream by about 50
cubic feet per second. the 1955 te day low flow at the Riverside gaging
station on the PawPaw River pcodured in August and averaged 186 cubic
feet per second. It should so be borne in hid that continued nereas-
ing withdrawals frem ground afterr wells in this basin will ultimately
reduce the base flow t the streak. It is not unreasonable to expect
that total irrigaton reauirements of the future may reduce flew by
as mach as 30 td 40 per cent in drought years.
A map study of far plat book published by the Rockford Map Pabliehers
shows over 46,000 aeres of riparian'land on the Paw Paw River Syatea.
Intended drainage and lake frontage not connected to the drainage system no
doubt increase this acreage to over 50,000 acres. It is recognized that
FIGURE NO. 4
------- _____ ---C
- _ ---g_ _
0220 0 0oo 0 o 9o 0 h
SW31SAS NOIIVO9IlI JO U3IWnN
00 0) 0 (o0 v 10
this totax acreage is not all suitable for farmiag, particularly for irritated
crops, yet the figure does indicate, to.aoo d.agree, what the ftVre Mu hold
with respect to the growth of irrigation and tta water supply nee-ad.
SUNgMA or POlUMIs a STATUS PAw Ra W T3.A Mayr. 1955, tl)
Gates Drain via Layton Drain
Village of Lawton:
Population 1,206. Secondary treatment (activated sludge) and
chlorination of sewage sinef 1937.
Welch Grape Juice Company, Lawtonu
No treatment except screening. Source of large organic pollution
load seasonaly resulting in local odor nuisance in Lavton Drain
and balanced. oxygen conditions in Gates Drain. A contributing
factor to unbalanced oxygen cond ition in Maple Lake.
Uast Branch Paw Paw River
Paw Paw Canning Company, Paw Paw:
No treatment except screening. Minor proble 'at present.
Paw Paw Vine Coemipany, Paw Paw:
No treatment, minor problem at present.
St. Julian Vine Company, Paw Paw:
No treatment, minor probli aat present..
Michigan Wineries, Inc., Paw Paw:
Major source of organic pollution contributing to unbalanced lsgenm
conditions in Maple Lake.
Paw Paw River
Village of Paw Paw:
Population 2,382. Primary treatment of sewage since 1935.
Village of Lawrence:
Population 69. Septic Tank treatment of sewage 1915-1951. Primary
'treatment and chlorination since 1951.
Lawrence Canning Company, Lawrence:
Spray irrigation disposal of cannery waste.
Village of Hartford:
Population 1,838. Primary treatment and chlorination of sewage since
City of Watervliet:
Population 1,327. Primary treatment and chlorination of sewage since 1940.
Watervliet Paper Co., Watervliet:
Source of organic pollution equivalent to the domestic sewage from
60,000 persons. Company presently making process change by which
pollution load will be reduced approximately one-third during summer
low flows. Necessity for further reduction to be considered by
Commission after process change has been completed.
Paw Paw Lake Resort Developments:
Inadequate private sewage disposal systems in congested areas result
in localized health hazards and odor nuisances.
City of Coloma:
Population 1,041, plus local cannery and pickle processing plants.
No treatment. Seasonal pollution load equivalent to domestic sewage
from a population of 25,000. Treatment needed.
Inadequate private sewage disposal systems from urban areas, plus
small amounts of industrial wastes contribute to pollution of the
lower river by way of Barnes & Hamilton Drain. Population distribu-
tion and financing pose major obstacles to correction.
fISLAIONAL DSMO (12) (13)
The Paw Paw besia ofera asay r'ecratieasL opportunities. Over sixty-five
lakes dot the area. am7lg in size from sevewl aers to ae wbih is erver
aors. these lakes provide "xe
angler. sady beaehqs and. hilly to flat .terr&ai aloag thee hpr s are faverf'ble
as sites f.o s*uep coettages ed. the .influx of r tewef in th4e *S r is
heavy. Most of the lakes have cowmrcial 'boat 4LTeries mad swaimiag, beating,
and fishing activities oake goo4 use :g thels agia ti.e paygraouna.
The MichAgan. Conservation Departaeat maintaias aevrs paulic fishing site&
in the basin for public access.
The Paw Paw is listed 4s one of the. caoe trails of Michigan this
water way of. forty ailes from Oasmty Eighway 68 (Tan teren Oenty) requires
two days with only one portage ruaad jhe danaer WAtervliet. Pike, bas,
and pantish are foound on the w in stresas #a4 treat are taken 9a the aorth
breach where the journey bosei,. ,
There are no state parks or 4fret lands ft s ba ia3l however, Lfke
Michigan, lying just west of the waterhid. oftiers mny fine 1athing and
picnic arean in short driTvag distance froa most parts of the basin.
Power di aa' ply a m aor par' t -ii t over-all water resources utilization
in'"he w'Paw Biver Bsin.". e jrdaa with any appreciable storage
capacity are the -dai on the Stoth Br~eh of the Paw Paw iver in the Village
of Paw Paw and the Watervliet Paper Coapany dam at Watervliet on the Main
Branch. A 'luber company' in Paw Paw'maintaine a small dam which supplies
power to rUi the machine 'in t`e sawkiill. EAiis at vawrence and Hartford
were washed out in 'th April torm of 194.7. The power dam at Hartford has
not been rebuilt, but "the mill dam at Lawrence now maintains a head and is
reported used on occasions.
The dam ait' Paw f Pw, owned by thi village, is on the South Branch of
the Paw Paw iver and has a normal operating head of 16 feet and its storage
reservoir is Maple lake, whose area is estimated to be 300 acres.
atierliet Paper C0ompz 'maintains a'& a on the Main Branch of the
Paw Paw at Watervliet. The power produced by the tuvrbine is reported to
be aoi 1l,86d,b00tf.i.H. eacdhyea and i* used only on Sundays. Maxiain
power ie developed wit a discharge o ~0 c:'f., and optian head of about
11 feet. The tiora!ge ponia drops rapidly during s mer low stream flow when
turbines are at full capacity.
L-I- I-~----- ___
Conclusions and Recommendationsl
The water problem confronting the people of the Paw Paw River Basin is how
to manage their water resources so as to offer the best possible- potential to
every present and prospective user. Water means money to agriculture, industry
and business. Its recreational values, although not readily reduceable to
monetary terms are unquestionably very great. The total water resource poten-
tial as shown by Paw Paw River flow records is apparently adequate to meet all
conceivable needs. In spite of this over-all abundance, seasonal shortages
and competition amdng users are already beginning to appear. There is no
question but that these conditions will become more serious as time goes on.
Achievement of maximum water utilization in the Paw Paw River Basin will
not be easy and will require the fullest cooperation among all interests. Many
aspects of water management should be carefully studied with reference to local
conditions and needs. Above-ground reservoir sites suited to the efficient
storage of excess flood water may have value for gradual release during drouth
periods. The topography and soils of this basin are not generally favorable
for such sites although several are indicated by topographical asps. Practically
all of them are privately owned and many of them are in use for agriculture,
business or residence. The practicability of their conversion from existing
use to water storage would be questionable in many csses.at the present time.
As the value of water grows, however, more and more of them may become attrae-
tive for that purpose. Unfortunately, the passage of time can be expected to
make acquisition of these sites increasingly difficult if not impossible due
to their intensive development for other uses. The use of surface reservoirs
to augment low stream flow may be impractical until state legislation is enacted
which will safeguard uses of the increased flow. Storage reservoir operation,
of course, benefits only the stream below it and has no effect on conditions
upstream or in the drainage areas of other tributaries.
One direction of effort warranting the united asppprt of all interests for
both on-site and downstream benefits is the adoption of land use practices which
tend to reduce surface run-off and increase infiltration of water into the soil.
Another practice in which the effect on water resources would appear to be
almost entirely beneficial is farm pond construction. By capturing a portion of
the seasonal excess water these ponds tend to reduce downstream flood damage;
they bring into economic utility resources which would otherwise be wasted,
relieve the use-pressure on other sources, and, by seepage losses, tend to
increase underground storage. Such seepage losses, of course, are contrary to
the purpose of farm ponds and will be prevented as far as possible by selection
of pond sites with impervious soils or by pre-treatment of the pond bottom to
reduce permeability. However, ndry" reservoirs to trap surface run-off in the
uplpnds and hold it for infiltration into the underground reservoirs that sustain
stream flow may be found worthy of community or even basin sponsorship.
The topography and soils of the basin are generally conducive to good land
drainage. The light, open soils permit a high percentage of the precipitation
to enter the ground. This is borne out in the study of flow-duration character-
istics of the Paw Paw, where high base flows were evident. Because of these
soil types, there has not been a great need for the development of artificial
land drainage in the agriculture areas of the basin. Natural drainage-ways
have been developed and improved in most of the sub-watersheds. Righ ground
water tables have been a problem in some areas where lake levels (expressions
of the water table.) remain high during years of surplus precipitation. Such
lake and swamp areas have utility as waterfowl and wildlife habitat; however,
improved drainage of such areas may reduce or destroy these values. Where
and how to drain are complex questions, the answers to which can be accurately
reached only by careful evaluation of all the factors which may be involved.
----~; CY _-_ __ ~~_X---n-XI--- _~~_1I^-I-1II ~_.___._~_._~_____~~~~~~~___ I-I- I_ -
Means for control of the flood problem on Paw Paw Lake have been the -
subject of a study by the ~ ngeineerng and Architecture Section, Administrative
Services, Michigan Department of Conservation. This study recommends: (1)
changes and improvements at the existing outlet control structure at Highway
M-140 and; (2) an auxiliary outlet channel with controls from the southwest
corner of the lake, running southerly to the Paw Paw River at a point downstream
from the two dams at Watervliet.
Ground water resources of the basin appear hardly to have been tapped for
supplies through wells, and it would seem likely that substantially increased
utilization can be made in many localities. Much more detailed information
than is now available will be necessary to reveal the full potential. Such
information can be obtained in part from scientific pumping tests and in part
from well drilling records. The pumping tests should precede any large scale
development of ground water, but they can be scheduled to coincide with area
development plans as economic growth demonstrates the need. No time should be
lost, however, in making arrangements for recording the data on underground forma-
tions which can be obtained during well drilling. The vital information each
drilling record reveals can be duplicated only by drilling another well at the
same site. Very record discarded is a loss, not only to the well owner, but
to the people of the basin. Had accurate information been kept on the thousands
of wells that have been drilled in this basin, a very useful picture of the basin's
geology and its water yielding capacity would be available. It is recommended
that the records of well logs be sent to the Geological Survey Division, Michi-
gan Department of Conservation at Lansing.
From a water quality management standpoint, it seems certain that tighten-
ing of controls over pollution will be necessary to meet the requirements of
water users. Industrial and municipal waste disposal is subject to control by
the state, but local government must perform its functions in controlling
pollution originating in individual sever outlets to surface waters. Develop-
ment of the area's recreation potential will undoubtedly be contingent on the
water quality maintenance which can be accomplished only through vigorous and
coordinated attention by basin interests.
The complex inter-relationship among the basin's water resources and between
its water and land uses would seem to imply an important community of interest
of basin-wide extent. This community of interest might well warrant the organi-
zing of a basin committee on water resources. Such a committee, if representa-
tive of all water interests and geographical areas, could serve very fruitfully
if only in a coordinating, fact-finding and advisory capacity. Eventually, unless
development in this area departs radically from trends followed elsewhere through-
out the nation,Paw Paw Basin residents will want to form an organization with
basin-wide administrative authority over water management. Lacking some coordi-
nating entity,' Paw Paw River Basin water uses and management practices can
hardly develop other than independently of one another. Conflicts resulting
from such development may grow unnoticed through a series of normal years to
culminate in numbers when drouth depresses common supply.
Whether or not any basin committee or organization is considered worth while,
water users of all kinds will want to maintain active interest in the development
of state legislation on water rights as well as on drainage, lake level control,
pollution control and other water conservation subjects that bear importantly
on basin water utilization.
__~_~___ _I___ ____ __~~____~__~_I
wUnOS AND ACOoWLDGNTS
1. 1950 United States Census~of Population, U. S. Bureau of the Census.
2. U. S. Geological Survey, Monograph 53, by Leverett and Taylor.
3. Publication 48, Michigan Geological Survey, Part I, "The Glacial Geology
and Ground Water Resources of Van Buren County," by F. Wells Terwilliger.
4. Data from U. S. Weather Bureau Records, East Lansing, Michigan.
5. Storm Rainfall of the United States, Corps of Engineers, U. S. Army.
6. Data from U. S. Geological Survey Water Supply Papers.
7. Michigan Department of Health records.
8. City Engineer's office, City of Benton Harbor.
9. Report on Paw Paw Lake Level Control, Eagineering and Architecture Section,
Administrative Services, Michigan Department of Conservation.
10. Prepared by John G. Rulison, In Charge, Water Resources Section, Geolo-
gical Survey Division, Department of Conservation.
11. Summary of pollution status prepared by the Pollution Abatement Division,
Water Resources Commission (May, 1955).
12. West Michigan Tourist and Resort Association publications.
13. "Canoe Trails of Michigan," Michigan Tourist Council.
14. "Ground Water Resources of the Benton Harbor Area, Michigan," by W. T.
Stuart and R. W. Stallman, Michigan Geological Survey Progress Report,
November 12, 1945.
_ Y_ ~I~ _____