Annual depth-to-water level measurements in progress
Beginning in early January, High Plains Underground Water Conservation District No. 1 personnel will make annual depth-to-water level measurements to determine the effect of pumpage during 2008 on ground water levels in the Ogallala aquifer within the district's 15-county service area.
Water level measurements are made in a network of more than 1,200 privately-owned wells. These water level observation wells are spaced throughout the district at a density of about one well per nine square miles.
"It is important for the public to be aware that our staff will be visiting observation well sites from early January until completion of this work effort," said High Plains Water District Manager Jim Conkwright.
The depth-to-water level measurement is made by lowering a steel tape to a pre-determined depth in the well. The first few feet of the tape lowered into each well is coated with carpenters' chalk, which turns a darker shade of blue when it comes into contact with water.
The distance from land surface to the static water level is determined by subtracting the amount of tape with the darker blue chalk from the total feet of tape extended into the well.
After the measurement is made, a blue vinyl sticker with the observation well number, the depth-to-water level measurement, and the date of the measurement is affixed to the well equipment or other appropriate surface near the well site.
Water District personnel measure the same wells in the observation well network each year,
as long as the individual wells are accessible and continue to provide satisfactory data. The current depth-to-water level measurement in individual wells is compared to that of the previous year to determine the annual change in water levels in the Ogallala aquifer within the district.
Maps showing the location and well number of the observation wells in each county or portion of a county served by the water district are published each year in the district's newsletter, The Cross Section. The water level issue contains tables listing observation wells in each county within the district and the average and annual change in water levels for one-year, five-year, and 10-year intervals.
Additional information about the observation well program and annual depth-to-water level measurements is available by contacting the High Plains Underground Water Conservation District No. 1 at 806-762-0181 or by visiting the district's website at www.hpwd.com. Persons wishing to receive The Cross Section newsletter can contact the district to have their names added to the mailing list.