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Projected ground-water development, ground-water levels, and stream-aquifer leakage in the South Fork Solomon River Valley between Webster Reservoir and Waconda Lake, north-central Kansas, 1979-2020

Water-Resources Investigations Report 85-4216

By:
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Abstract

A two-dimensional finite difference computer model was used to project changes in the potentiometric surface, saturated thickness, and stream aquifer leakage in an alluvial aquifer resulting from four instances of projected groundwater development. The alluvial aquifer occurs in the South Fork Solomon River valley between Webster Reservoir and Waconda Lake in north-central Kansas. In the first two projections, pumpage for irrigation was held constant at 1978 rates throughout the projection period (1979-2020). In the second two projections, the 1978 pumpage was progressively increased each yr through 2020. In the second and fourth projections, surface water diversions in the Osborne Irrigation Canal were decreased by 50 %. For the third and fourth projections, each grid-block in the modeled area was classified initially as one of six types according to whether it represented irrigable or nonirrigable land, to its saturated thickness, to its location inside or outside the canal-river area, and to its pumping rate. The projected base-flow rates (leakage from the aquifer to the river) were lower during the irrigation season (June, July, and August) than during the other months of the yr because of the decline in hydraulic head produced by groundwater pumpage. Stream depletion, calculated as a decrease below the average (1970-78) estimated winter base-flow rate of 16.5 cu ft/sec, varied inversely with base flow. For the first two projections, a constant annual cycle of well pumpage and recharge was used throughout the projection period. Aquifer leakage to the river was nearly constant by the mid-to-late 1990's, implying that flow conditions had attained a stabilized annual cycle. The third and fourth projections never attained an annual stabilized cycle because the irrigation pumpage rate was increased each year. By the early 1980's, the hydraulic head had fallen below river stage, reversing the hydraulic gradient at the stream-aquifer interface and resulting in net leakage from the river to the aquifer during the summer months. By the early 1990 's, the projected potentiometric surface of the aquifer was lower than the river stage even during the winter and spring months. (Author 's abstract)

Additional Publication Details

Publication type:
Report
Publication Subtype:
USGS Numbered Series
Title:
Projected ground-water development, ground-water levels, and stream-aquifer leakage in the South Fork Solomon River Valley between Webster Reservoir and Waconda Lake, north-central Kansas, 1979-2020
Series title:
Water-Resources Investigations Report
Series number:
85-4216
Edition:
-
Year Published:
1985
Language:
ENGLISH
Publisher:
Geological Survey (U.S.)
Contributing office(s):
U.S. Geological Survey
Description:
Report: vi, 42 p.; Plate