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Simulated changes in ground-water levels and streamflow resulting from future development (1970 to 2020) in the Platte River basin, Nebraska

Water-Resources Investigations Report 79-26

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Abstract

Future changes in ground-water levels and streamflow caused by a limited set of water-resources development conditions were simulated with digital models of stream-aquifer systems within the Platte River Basin, Nebraska. Simulated water-resources use in the basin included private development of ground water for irrigation, Federal development of surface-water systems for irrigation, and development of ground water to supply municipal demands of Lincoln and Omaha.

Simulated future conditions indicate that significant permanent declines in ground-water levels and streamflows may occur as a result of private development of ground water for irrigation. The largest simulated declines in ground-water levels were more than 80 feet by the year 2020 in upland areas in the Elkhorn and Middle Platte subbasins under conditions of rapid development of all irrigable lands. Simulated depletion of perennial streamflows by ground-water withdrawals indicated that future surface-water supplies may be limited in parts of the basin. Simulated depletions to major streams exceeded 60 percent of average perennial flow in the Elkhorn subbasin under conditions of rapid private development of ground water for irrigation.

Simulations that evaluated the effects of combined private groundwater development with proposed Federal development of surface water for irrigation showed that in the project areas, ground-water level declines were reduced compared to "without project" conditions. In some project areas, simulated ground-water levels rose with the application of surface water in excess of consumptive-use requirements and soil-moisture storage capacities. The ground-water level rises would lead to waterlogged conditions in parts of the Middle Platte subbasin.

The accuracy of the models developed in this study would be improved most by collection of additional data on ground-water withdrawals and storage properties at the aquifer.

Additional publication details

Publication type:
Report
Publication Subtype:
USGS Numbered Series
Title:
Simulated changes in ground-water levels and streamflow resulting from future development (1970 to 2020) in the Platte River basin, Nebraska
Series title:
Water-Resources Investigations Report
Series number:
79-26
Year Published:
1979
Language:
English
Publisher:
U.S. Geological Survey
Description:
Report: vii, 82 p.; 9 Plates: 19.40 x 10.03 inches or smaller
Country:
United States
State:
Nebraska
Other Geospatial:
Platte River Basin