Liberal, KS

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Aquifer Levels Looking Good

KSCB News - January 10, 2018 8:23 pm

SEWARD COUNTY, Kan. (KSNW) — An annual study measures the water levels of the Ogallala Aquifer, and so far, things are looking good.

“The water tables typically are in a declining stage,” said Brownie Wilson with the Kansas Geological Survey. “It just kind of depends on how fast they go down.”

This year looks different.

“This year the water levels,” said Wilson, “because it was so wet this summer, the precipitation, there was a lot of it, so it was pretty timely, and what that does is it helps reduce the pumping demands on the aquifer.”

It will be about a month or two before results for all 1,400 wells are released, and that info has a big effect on the region.

“There’s a whole range of people who use this information,” said Wilson. “It goes from accountants to individual operators and producers up to agencies.”

So far, Wilson is happy with what he’s finding.

“Overall, the water levels this year look great. They’re at where they were last year or they’re up slightly. I think that will be the overall trend.”

Wilson says the well he was checking usually drops about 5 feet every year. This year, it’s only down about a foot, breaking away from a pattern.

“It’s a lot dryer down here,” he said, referring to southwest Kansas, “higher evaporation rates, but there’s also a lot more water that’s appropriated to be used, and so there’s a lot more water usage that occurs in southwest Kansas than other parts of the Ogallala.”

 

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