The High Plains Underground Water Conservation District personnel are now on the road, visiting area well sites on much of the Texas High Plains to make Winter Water Level Measurements to determine the effect of 2012 pumping on groundwater levels of the Ogallala Aquifer.
These measurements are made within the district's 16-county service area in a network of more than 1,250 privately-owned water wells. The observation wells are spaced at a density of about one well per nine square miles throughout the district.
A depth-to-water level measurement is made by lowering a steel tape to a predetermined depth in the observation well. The first few feet of the tape lowered into each well is coated with carpenter's chalk, which turns a darker shade of blue when it contacts water.
The distance from the 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 steel tape extended into the well.
After measurement, 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.
High Plains Water District staff 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 measurements in individual wells are compared to those of previous years to determine the average annual change in water levels in the Ogallala Aquifer.
Maps regarding well sites are found in The Cross Section, the district's free monthly newsletter. You can receive the newsletter by contacting Carmon McCain at 806-762-0181, or reach him by Email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Created in 1951, the district is responsible for conserving, preserving, protecting, and preventing waste of groundwater.