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ARS Home » Plains Area » Lubbock, Texas » Cropping Systems Research Laboratory » Wind Erosion and Water Conservation Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #336592

Title: Temporal variations in water quality of the Ogallala Aquifer on the Texas High Plains

item Goebel, Tim
item Lascano, Robert
item Stout, John

Submitted to: Meeting Abstract
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 10/3/2016
Publication Date: 12/15/2016
Citation: Goebel, T.S., Lascano, R.J., Stout, J.E. 2016. Temporal variations in water quality of the Ogallala Aquifer on the Texas High Plains.[abstract]. 2016 AGU Fall Meeting. December 12-16, 2016, San Francisco, California. Abstract No. 435-1593.

Interpretive Summary:

Technical Abstract: The Ogallala Aquifer, under eight States of the Great Plains of US, from Texas to South Dakota, is among the largest aquifers in the world. In some regions, extraction of water for urban and agricultural uses far exceeds recharge resulting in a decline of the water table. In the southern region of the Texas High Plains (THP) this decline prompted restrictions set by a local water conservation agency in 2009 stating that in 50 years about 50% of the saturated thickness of the Ogallala Aquifer should be preserved. However, this restriction only addressed quantity and not the quality of the remaining water. In general, the quality of water being mined from an aquifer tends to change over time, leading us to measure changes in water quality over the length of a crop’s growing season in the THP. We measured water quality including: EC, pH, and ion analysis, at several locations covering 5 counties in the THP. Preliminary results show that when wells are actively pumped water quality can change in complex and unpredictable ways. In some cases, water quality declines and in others water quality improves. This result encouraged us to expand and continue to measure changes in ground water quality and develop a model to quantify changes in water quality.