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Kansas Geological Survey, Open-file Report 2008-29
Part of the Ogallala-High Plains Aquifer Project

High Plains Aquifer Calibration Monitoring Well Program: Year 2 Progress Report

D.P. Young, R.W. Buddemeier, J.J. Butler, Jr., W. Jin, D.O. Whittemore, E. Reboulet, and B.B. Wilson

with contributions by J. Munson (KDA-DWR)

KGS Open File Report 2008-29

Introduction and background

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 supported by the Kansas Water Office (KWO) with Water Plan funding. 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 at scales appropriate to the definition and management of aquifer subunits, and ultimately, providing cost-effective improvements for long-term management.

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 improve the interpretation of water-table responses over larger/other areas.

One well in each of the western Kansas GMDs is being 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 Kansas Department of Agriculture, Division of Water Resources (KDA-DWR). The rationale and conceptual framework for the program has been laid out in more detail by Young et al. (2007), available at

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

Read the PDF version (3.4 MB)

Kansas Geological Survey, Geohydrology
Placed online May 1, 2009
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