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Water-level changes in the High Plains aquifer, Republican River Basin in Colorado, Kansas, and Nebraska, 2002 to 2015

Scientific Investigations Map 3373

Prepared in cooperation with the Middle Republican Natural Resources District
By:
DOI:10.3133/sim3373

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Abstract

The High Plains aquifer underlies 111.8 million acres (about 175,000 square miles) in parts of eight States—Colorado, Kansas, Nebraska, New Mexico, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Texas, and Wyoming. More than 95 percent of the water withdrawn from the High Plains aquifer is used for irrigation. Water-level declines began in parts of the High Plains aquifer soon after the beginning of substantial irrigation with groundwater in the aquifer area (about 1950). The Republican River Basin is 15.9 million acres (about 25,000 square miles) and is located in northeast Colorado, northern Kansas, and southwest Nebraska. The Republican River Basin overlies the High Plains aquifer for 87 percent of the basin area. Water-level declines had begun in parts of the High Plains aquifer within the Republican River Basin by 1964. In 2002, management practices were enacted in the Middle Republican Natural Resources District in Nebraska to comply with the Republican River Compact Final Settlement. The U.S. Geological Survey, in cooperation with the Middle Republican Natural Resources District, completed a study of water-level changes in the High Plains aquifer within the Republican River Basin from 2002 to 2015 to enable the Middle Republican Natural Resources District to assess the effect of the management practices, which were specified by the Republican River Compact Final Settlement. Water-level changes determined from this study are presented in this report.

Water-level changes from 2002 to 2015 in the High Plains aquifer within the Republican River Basin, by well, ranged from a rise of 9.4 feet to a decline of 43.2 feet. The area-weighted, average water-level change from 2002 to 2015 in this part of the aquifer was a decline of 4.5 feet.

Suggested Citation

McGuire, V.L., 2017, Water-level changes in the High Plains aquifer, Republican River Basin in Colorado, Kansas, and Nebraska, 2002 to 2015 (ver. 1.1, February 2017): U.S. Geological Survey Scientific Investigations Map 3373, 10 p., 1 sheet with appendix, https://doi.org/10.3133/sim3373.

ISSN: 2329-132X (online)

Study Area

Table of Contents

  • Abstract
  • Introduction
  • Data and Methods
  • Water-Level Changes, 2002 to 2015
  • Summary
  • Acknowledgments
  • References Cited
  • Appendix-Report Datasets

Additional publication details

Publication type:
Report
Publication Subtype:
USGS Numbered Series
Title:
Water-level changes in the High Plains aquifer, Republican River Basin in Colorado, Kansas, and Nebraska, 2002 to 2015
Series title:
Scientific Investigations Map
Series number:
3373
DOI:
10.3133/sim3373
Edition:
Version 1.0: Originally posted December 29, 2016; Version 1.1: February 10, 2017
Year Published:
2017
Language:
English
Publisher:
U.S. Geological Survey
Publisher location:
Reston, VA
Contributing office(s):
Nebraska Water Science Center
Description:
Sheet: 35.0 x 36.0 inches; Pamphlet: iv, 10 p.; Appendix Well Files; Data Release; Version History
Country:
United States
State:
Colorado, Kansas, Nebraska
Other Geospatial:
High Plains Aquifer, Republican River Basin
Online Only (Y/N):
Y
Additional Online Files (Y/N):
Y