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Kansas Geological Survey, Open-file Report 2018-1

2017 Water-Level Data Acquisition Statistics

by Brett Bennett and Mary Brohammer

KGS Open-file Report 2018-1
Dec. 2017


The field-measurement phase of the 2017 annual cooperative water-level measurement program was successfully completed by the Kansas Geological Survey (KGS) and the Division of Water Resources (DWR), Kansas Department of Agriculture, prior to March 1, 2017. The annual program is designed to regionally sample the High Plains aquifer in Kansas so trends can be established and evaluated for effective incorporation into water-resource management strategies. Water levels were recorded in 97.5% of the 1,384 network wells in 2017. The KGS measured 559 wells and the three DWR offices (Garden City, Stafford, and Stockton) measured 825 wells. Data acquisition by KGS staff was completed in January.

A spatial analysis of the 2016 annual network well distribution identified nine locations that required additional water-level data to permit continuous and uniform sampling of the High Plains aquifer. Researchers then identified wells in these locations that have sufficient construction and historical information and landowner cooperation to attempt a water-level measurement. Of the 19 wells designated to replace existing wells or fill gaps in the network, 15 were measured and were incorporated into the network for 2018. They will be measured in all future measurement campaigns unless the wells become unreliable or are plugged. Yearly geostatistical studies will define under-sampled areas and assist in selecting optimum locations for replacement wells to eliminate holes in the hexagonal network used to assure uniform sampling of the aquifer.

January 2017 Acquisition KGS DWR Total
Number of network wells in 2017 559 825 1,384
Number of counties 16 32 48
2017 provisional (new) wells 9 10 19
# provisional wells measured 6 9 15
# wells successfully measured 545 805 1,350
# wells MIA* 14 22 36
# wells measured for quality assurance (QA) 56 -- 56
# wells targeted for removal 6 0 6
*Wells with zero depth reading, where measurement failed, or that were marked for removal.

KGS Field Crew, January 2017

Joe Anderson, Brett Bennett, Rex Buchanan, Rick Miller, Ed Reboulet, Jeremy Scobee, Brett Wedel, and Brownie Wilson

Wells Measured in 2017

Type of Well KGS DWR Total
Irrigation 466 606 1,072
Unused (monitor or abandoned) 66 154 220
Stock 11 48 59
Household 6 2 8
Depth to Water      
Less than 100 ft 116 517 633
100 to 200 ft 267 194 461
200 to 300 ft 144 55 199
More than 300 ft 18 39 57
Drill Depth of Well      
Unknown 63 119 182
Less than 100 ft 47 260 307
100 to 200 ft 115 230 345
200 to 300 ft 169 115 284
300 to 400 ft 84 35 119
More than 400 ft 81 66 147
Measurement Characteristics      
Oil on the water 58 (10.2%) 51 (6.2%) 109 (7.8%)
Difficult measurement
(restrictions, snags, catches)
36 (6.3%) 33 (4.0%) 69 (5.0%)

In-field confidence in a particular measurement was qualitatively determined through inspection of chalk cut while general accuracy was quantitatively appraised using historical and local trends.

Measurement Confidence

Wells Measured Only KGS DWR Total
Once 484 736 1,220
Twice 56 43 99
Three times 5 26 31
Four times 0 0 0
Total Measurements      
Primary and Quality Assurance (QA) 676 916 1,592
Measurements Judged      
Excellent 438 534 972
Good 77 220 297
Fair 35 56 91

2017 Provisional Wells

KGS (9 new wells—6 measured)

30S 23W 18D   01   Clark
11S 35W 12ABC 01   Logan
32S 30W 25BBB 01   Meade
02S 35W 13BAA 01   Rawlins
04S 32W 09CCC 01   Rawlins
04S 33W 19BCB 01   Rawlins
31S 33W 02DAB 01   Seward
32S 31W 01DBB 01   Seward
10S 41W 33ABB 01   Sherman

DWR (10 new wells—9 measured)

25S 17W 26B   01   Edwards
26S 34W 03BBD 01   Finney
25S 28W 14CBC 01   Gray
28S 32W 08ADD 01   Haskell
27S 09W 18AAC 01   Kingman
29S 06W 24CDD 01   Kingman
20S 02W 34CBD 01   McPherson
29S 14W 31ACA 01   Pratt
24S 08W 01BBB 01   Reno
19S 32W 16BCD 01   Scott

Wells Tagged in 2017 for Removal from the Network and Reason

KGS (6 wells)

09S 39W 02BAB 01   Sherman    Well reworked--No MP access in 2017.
11S 33W 14DCC 01   Logan      Lots of restrictions with a big one at 125 ft.
23S 42W 19CBB 01   Hamilton
31S 32W 31BBB 01   Seward     Oily!
32S 36W 21AAC 01   Stevens    Well abandoned. Pump gone, hole covered w/cap.
32S 42W 32CAA 01   Morton     Concrete disk over well.

DWR (0 wells)

No wells were tagged for removal by DWR in 2017.


The two appendices to this report are summary tables.

Appendix A—Contains a summary of information for all wells measured by the KGS. This appendix includes county, well legal description (ID), and 2017 depth of water below ground surface (BGS). Quality Assurance measurements (QA) and Provisional wells (PROV) are also identified.

Appendix B—Contains a summary of information for all wells measured by the DWR. This appendix includes county, well legal description (ID), and 2017 depth of water below ground surface (BGS). Provisional wells (PROV) are also identified.

Both the current year's measurements and historical water-level data are archived and maintained at the KGS in a centralized database (WIZARD) that can be accessed at the KGS website at The township-range-section identifier and the water level for each well measured are also provided in tabular form as part of this report, which can be found online at under the heading "2017 Reports."

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

Read the PDF version (254 kB)

Kansas Geological Survey, Geophysics
Placed online Feb. 16, 2018
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