This report presents the results of the first 2 years of a 4-year investigation of potential for artificial recharge and recharge methods that might be used to mitigate excessive aquifer depletion in Nebraska. A Quaternary sand-and-gravel aquifer near Aurora, Nebr., was recharged by injecting water through a well at a rate of approximately 730 gallons per minute for nearly 6 months. Total recharge was 530 acre-feet. Recharge was intermittent during the first 2 months, but was virtually continuous during the last 4 months. Buildup of the water level in the recharge well was 17 feet. The rate of buildup indicates that the well could have accepted water by gravity flow at more than 3,000 gallons per minute for at least 1 year. The cause of a continuing slow rise in water levels in the recharge well in contrast to nearly stable water levels in observation wells as close as 10 feet from the recharge well is as yet uncertain. The recharge water and the native ground water appeared to be chemically compatible. Infiltration rates from 24-foot-diameter surface impoundments ranged from 0.04 to 0.66 feet per day. The higher rates may have resulted in part from leakage down incompletely sealed holes that were drilled to install monitoring equipment. The investigation, including a report on the entire project, is scheduled for completion by 1980.
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Artificial-recharge investigation near Aurora, Nebraska: 2-year progress report