Public water supplies in western Texas

Water Supply Paper 1106

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This report gives a summarized description of the public water supplies in a region comprising 81 counties of western Texas and lying generally west of the hundredth meridian. It is the fourth and last of this series of reports concerning the public water supplies of the State. It gives the available data for each of 142 communities, as follows: The population of the community; the name of the official from whom the information was obtained; the ownership of the waterworks, whether private or municipal; the source of supply, whether ground water or surface water; the amount of water consumed; the facilities for storage; the number of customers served; the character of the chemical and sanitary treatment of the water, if any; and the chemical analyses of the water. Where ground water is used the following also are given. Records of wells, including drillers' logs; character of the pumping equipment; and yield of the wells and water-level records where they are available. Of the 142 public supplies, 133 are obtained from ground water, 5 from surface water, and 4 from a combination of both. The total amount of water . used for public supply in the region averages about 78,000,000 gallons a day. Of this about 61,000,000 gallons a day is ground water and about 17,000,000 gallons a day is surface water. The ground-water resources of the region from which public water supplies are drawn are in rocks that range in age from Permian to Quaternary. The Ogallala formation of Tertiary age (Pliocene), which covers about 35,000 square miles of the High Plains in Texas, is the most important ground-water reservoir in the region. The formation furnishes water for 78 public supplies and for irrigating about 1,000,000 acres of land. The amount of water used for irrigating amounted to about 1,000,000 acre-feet in 1948. The Trinity and Fredericksburg groups of Lower Cretaceous age supply ground water in the western part of the Edwards Plateau, which constitutes an area of more than 22,000 square miles. These formations furnish small to large supplies to 20 municipalities. Sands of the Dockum group of Triassic refurnish meager to moderate supplies of water for 10 municipalities in areas east of the southern part of the High Plains and in the northern Pecos Valley in Texas. Local alluvial, bolson, or volcanic deposits furnish ground water in small to large amounts in scattered localities in the remainder of the region. The Permian rocks are of little importance as a source of ground water for public supply, owing to the highly mineralized water in them. The results of the chemical analyses of 206 samples of water obtained from the public supplies of the region are given in this report. The analyses are reported in parts per million and in equivalents per million for those ions entering into ionic balance. Of the samples analyzed 57 percent contained silica in excess of 20 parts per million; about 9 percent contained iron in excess of 0.3 part per million; 78 percent had hardness in excess of 200 parts per million; about 18 percent contained sulfate in excess of 250 parts per million; 10 percent contained chloride in excess of 250 parts per million; 3 percent contained nitrate in excess of 20 parts per million; 37 percent contained fluoride in excess of 2 parts per million; and 12 percent contained dissolved solids in excess of 1,000 parts per million.

Additional publication details

Publication type:
Publication Subtype:
USGS Numbered Series
Public water supplies in western Texas
Series title:
Water Supply Paper
Series number:
Year Published:
U.S. Government Printing Office
Publisher location:
Washington, D.C.
Contributing office(s):
Texas Water Science Center
viii, 168 p.
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