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Water-level and recoverable water in storage changes, High Plains aquifer, predevelopment to 2015 and 2013–15

Scientific Investigations Report 2017-5040

Groundwater and Streamflow Information Program
By:
https://doi.org/10.3133/sir20175040

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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. 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). This report presents water-level changes and change in recoverable water in storage in the High Plains aquifer from predevelopment (about 1950) to 2015 and from 2013 to 2015.

The methods to calculate area-weighted, average water-level changes; change in recoverable water in storage; and total recoverable water in storage used geospatial data layers organized as rasters with a cell size of 500 meters by 500 meters, which is an area of about 62 acres. Raster datasets of water-level changes are provided for other uses.

Water-level changes from predevelopment to 2015, by well, ranged from a rise of 84 feet to a decline of 234 feet. Water-level changes from 2013 to 2015, by well, ranged from a rise of 24 feet to a decline of 33 feet. The area-weighted, average water-level changes in the aquifer were an overall decline of 15.8 feet from predevelopment to 2015 and a decline of 0.6 feet from 2013 to 2015. Total recoverable water in storage in the aquifer in 2015 was about 2.91 billion acre-feet, which was a decline of about 273.2 million acre-feet since predevelopment and a decline of 10.7 million acre-feet from 2013 to 2015.

Suggested Citation

McGuire, V.L., 2017, Water-level and recoverable water in storage changes, High Plains aquifer, predevelopment to 2015 and 2013–15: U.S. Geological Survey Scientific Investigations Report 2017–5040, 14 p., https://doi.org/10.3133/sir20175040.

ISSN: 2328-0328 (online)

Study Area

Table of Contents

  • Acknowledgments
  • Abstract
  • Introduction
  • Data and Methods
  • Water-Level Changes
  • Change in Recoverable Water in Storage, Predevelopment to 2015 and 2013–15
  • Summary
  • References Cited

Additional publication details

Publication type:
Report
Publication Subtype:
USGS Numbered Series
Title:
Water-level and recoverable water in storage changes, High Plains aquifer, predevelopment to 2015 and 2013–15
Series title:
Scientific Investigations Report
Series number:
2017-5040
DOI:
10.3133/sir20175040
Year Published:
2017
Language:
English
Publisher:
U.S. Geological Survey
Publisher location:
Reston, VA
Contributing office(s):
Nebraska Water Science Center
Description:
Report: vi, 14 p.; Data Release
Country:
United States
State:
Colorado, Kansas, Nebraska, New Mexico, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Texas, Wyoming
Other Geospatial:
High Plains Aquifer
Online Only (Y/N):
Y
Additional Online Files (Y/N):
Y