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Kansas Geological Survey, Open-file Report 2007-30
Part of the Ogallala-High Plains Aquifer Project

High Plains Aquifer Calibration Monitoring Well Program: Year 1 Progress Report on Well Installation and Aquifer Response

D.P. Young, R.W. Buddemeier, D.O. Whittemore, and E. Reboulet

KGS Open File Report 2007-30


The calibration monitoring (index) well program is a pilot study of an improved approach to measuring hydrologic responses at the local level. The study is being funded by the Kansas Water Office (KWO). It is being undertaken because of the KWO's interest in and responsibility for long-term planning of the Ogallala-High Plains aquifer in western Kansas. The program is expected to make a significant contribution to understanding the aquifer dynamics, and ultimately, improving the long-term management approach.

The Kansas Water Plan has outlined a goal for management of the Ogallala-High Plains aquifer by aquifer subunit. For the calibration monitoring well program, the KWO requested one well in each of the three western Kansas groundwater management districts (GMDs) to support their efforts to define aquifer subunits and long-term management approaches. The hypotheses to be tested by this program are that

  1. Properly designed, sited, and measured wells can yield water-level measurements that, supported by supplemental measurements in other wells in the vicinity, are sufficiently accurate and representative of local water-table behavior to use in intensive management programs; and
  2. Consistent deviations in water levels from the behavior of a calibration well indicate aquifer heterogeneity; such results can be interpreted to refine subunit definitions and characteristics or to inform the interpretation of water-table responses over larger/other areas.

One newly constructed well in each of the western Kansas GMDs will be monitored continuously over a period of ~5 years to address the following questions:

A subsidiary goal is to directly examine issues and areas of particular interest to the GMDs and the Division of Water Resources, Kansas Department of Agriculture (DWR). A document describing the rationale and conceptual framework for the program in more detail is included in Appendix A.

The selected sites make the maximum use of additional data sources, local interest, and relevance to other goals and programs. They address a variety of ground-water settings that are both individually and generally important, and will contribute to generalized knowledge as well as specific local information.

The complete text of this report is available as an Adobe Acrobat PDF file.

Read the PDF version (3.1 MB)

Kansas Geological Survey, Geohydrology
Placed online May 6, 2008
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