Hydrologic analysis of the High Plains aquifer system in Box Butte County, Nebraska

Water-Resources Investigations Report 84-4046




During the past 40 years, pumpage of ground water for irrigation from the High Plains aquifer system underlying Box Butte County, Nebraska, has resulted in a steady decline of water levels. Consequently, a digital model of the aquifer system was constructed to evaluate various water-management alternatives. The hydraulic conductivity of the aquifer system ranges from 6 to 60 feet per day; the specific yield ranges from 12 to 21 percent; and natural recharge ranges from 0.06 to 4.33 inches annually. Predevelopment saturated thickness (1938) ranged from 190 to 510 feet. Water pumped in 1980 was estimated at 104,000 acre-feet from an estimated recoverable volume of 34.4 million acre-feet in the aquifer system. Results from model simulation predict that the area of water-level declines of 10 feet or more will increase from 336 square miles (1981) to 630 square miles by 1991 if pumpage is increased at the maximum annual rate experienced for the period 1972-81. Maximum water-level declines would increase from 50 feet (1981) to 79 feet (1991). However, pumpage rates held at the 1981 level (no further development) would limit the decline area of 10 feet or more to 530 square miles by 1991 and the maximum decline to 63 feet. (USGS)

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Hydrologic analysis of the High Plains aquifer system in Box Butte County, Nebraska
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Water-Resources Investigations Report
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U.S. Geological Survey,
v, 54 p. :ill., maps ;28 cm.