Projected water-level declines in the Ogallala aquifer in Lea County, New Mexico

Water-Resources Investigations Report 84-4062



A two-dimensional digital ground-water flow model was constructed of the Ogallala aquifer in Lea County, New Mexico. Simulations of predevelopment steady-state and historical pumping conditions were used to fit the model. Projections of water-level declines were made based on the condition of no additional development and the condition of a 0.44 percent annual increase in irrigation withdrawals to 1990 and a 0.88 percent annual increase in nonirrigation withdrawals to 2020. Based on no additional development, projected maximum water-level declines from 1980 were 31 feet in 2000 and 59 feet in 2020. The amount of recoverable water remaining in the aquifer as simulated by the model was 24.6 million acre-feet in 2000 and 22.4 million acre-feet in 2020, compared to an estimated 28 million acre-feet in 1980, with increased withdrawals, projected maximum declines were 33 feet in 2000 and 67 feet in 2020. As simulated by the model, 24.4 million acre-feet of recoverable water remained in 2000 and 21.8 million acre-feet remained in 2020. The sensitivity of the model to variation in hydraulic conductivity, specific yield, and recharge was tested over their range of uncertainty. Projected water-level declines were most sensitive to specific yield. In response to changes in specific yield, declines varied by as much as 6.2 feet from the standard simulation to 2020 with no additional development. (USGS)

Additional publication details

Publication type Report
Publication Subtype USGS Numbered Series
Title Projected water-level declines in the Ogallala aquifer in Lea County, New Mexico
Series title Water-Resources Investigations Report
Series number 84-4062
DOI 10.3133/wri844062
Edition -
Year Published 1984
Language ENGLISH
Publisher U.S. Geological Survey,
Description ix, 84 p. :ill., maps ;28 cm.