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Kansas Geological Survey, Open-file Report 2010-3
Part of the Ogallala-High Plains Aquifer Project

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

R.W. Buddemeier, R. Stotler, J.J. Butler, Jr., W. Jin, K. Beeler, E. Reboulet, P.A. Macfarlane, S. Kreitzer, D.O. Whittemore, G.C. Bohling, and B.B. Wilson
with contributions by J. Munson, D. Means, and S. Voss (KDA-DWR)

KGS Open File Report 2010-3

March 2010

Introduction and background

The calibration monitoring (index) well program is a pilot study to develop improved approaches for measuring hydrologic responses at the local (section to township) scale. The study is supported by the Kansas Water Office (KWO) with Water Plan funding. It is being undertaken because of KWO's interest in and responsibility for long-term planning of the Ogallala-High Plains aquifer in western Kansas. The Kansas Department of Agriculture, Division of Water Resources (KDA-DWR) is providing assistance, in terms of personnel and equipment, as are Groundwater Management Districts (GMDs) 4, 3, and 1.

A major focus of the program is the development of criteria or methods to evaluate the effectiveness of management strategies at the sub-unit (e.g., township) scale. Changes in water level--or the rate at which the water level is changing--are considered the most direct and unequivocal measure of the impact of management strategies. Because of the economic, social, and environmental importance of water in western Kansas, the effects of any modifications in use patterns need to be evaluated promptly and accurately. The project has therefore focused on identifying and reducing the uncertainties and inaccuracies involved in producing quantitative estimates of year-to-year changes in water-level, in order to support managers in identifying the impacts of water-use changes as rapidly as possible.

Now concluding its third year, the program has taken significant steps toward achieving the goals of understanding and measuring aquifer dynamics at scales appropriate to the definition and management of aquifer subunits, and, ultimately, providing cost-effective methods for assessing the impact of long-term management strategies. This annual report of progress summarizes not just findings, but also the current state of knowledge and interpretation, and the needs, plans, and opportunities for further study.

More detailed information on the design and inception of the project is available from the previous annual reports, Young et al. 2007 ( and Young et al. 2008 (; see also for detailed descriptions of the wells and access to the telemetered water-level data. The overall experimental design and the current field sites are described in section 2. Section 3 of this report addresses the issues and findings to date concerning the measurement of groundwater levels and the accurate determination of water-level elevation changes. Section 4 summarizes the progress made toward applying the findings to monitoring and management at the aquifer subunit scale, and outlines remaining needs and work plans. Section 5 presents an overall summary of findings and directions. The appendices to the report contain more extensive and detailed data and background information: Appendix A.1 has a complete compilation of available data on the characteristics of all wells involved in the study; A.2 presents precipitation data for the three counties involved; A.3 supplies recent water use data in the vicinity of the index wells; and A.4 presents hydrographs and Barometric Efficiency Function plots for all transducer-monitored wells at the Haskell site. Appendices B and C present methods and background information relating to well recovery analysis and barometric correction.

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

Read the PDF version (15 MB)

Kansas Geological Survey, Geohydrology
Updated March 4, 2010
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