Submitted to: Meeting Abstract
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: December 7, 2004
Publication Date: December 7, 2004
Citation: Gitz, D.C., Zobeck, T.M. 2004. Prospects for enhancing aquifer recharge and protecting ground-water quality using a playa forage production system. Proceedings High Plains Groundwater Resources: Challenges and Opportunities Conference. p. 12-18. Technical Abstract: The predominate hydrological surface features of the Llano Estacado are the approximately 30,000 playa lakes which serve as runoff catchments from the surrounding watershed during large precipitation events. The majority of the regional Ogallala aquifer recharge volume enters through these playa lakes, but recharge is very slow due to the relatively impermeable clay which comprises the lake-beds. Engineering schemes to increase infiltration through playa lake-beds have generally either failed or have proven economically impractical. Protecting groundwater quality is also a concern given the low rates of aquifer recharge in the region and the potential for agrochemical runoff into playas. We describe work currently underway which attempts to increase aquifer recharge and protect groundwater quality by using eastern gamagrass in a rain-fed forage production system employing playa lakes as precipitation catchment basins.