Water Budget Analysis of the Pawnee Tribe Jurisdictional Area in Payne County, OK

Science Center Objects

The objective of this proposed project is to construct an annual water budget for the Cimarron River alluvial aquifer between USGS streamgages Cimarron River near Ripley, OK and a proposed new USGS streamgage. Components of the water budget (precipitation, [runoff], evapotranspiration, stream base flow, bedrock lateral flow, and groundwater pumping) will be calculated for the 2017 water year (October 2016–September 2017) using various methods.

Cimarron River near Yale gage

Cimarron River near Yale gage(Public domain.)

Summary

            The Cimarron River is one of the major river systems flowing across Oklahoma. The Cimarron River is approximately 698-mi long and starts in New Mexico and joins with the Arkansas River at Keystone Lake. The Cimarron River has no impoundments, except where the river ends at Keystone Lake. Payne County is located just west of Keystone Lake. The Cimarron River is a major source of water for individuals along its reaches. In the study area, surface water is used from the Cimarron River mostly for industrial use (90-day temporary permits) associated with oil and gas operations. Other use in the Cimarron River basin (outside of study area) is for public supply. Groundwater use in the study area is predominantly for irrigation and public supply, and some industrial use (90-day temporary permits) associated with oil and gas operations. Adjoining and below the Cimarron River are alluvium and terrace deposits that contain groundwater, referred to as the Cimarron River alluvial aquifer. Below and adjoining the alluvial aquifer are bedrock aquifers, such as the Garber-Wellington and Ada-Vamoosa aquifers.

Problem

The Bureau of Indian Affairs is concerned about the amount of available water in the Cimarron River alluvial aquifer located near the Pawnee Tribe. A water budget is needed for effective water management, especially in river valleys where streamflow and diversions of surface water or extraction of groundwater can affect the available water resources. A water budget quantifies the water components going into and out of a hydrologic system. Quantification of these components can help managers estimate future impacts to the water resources from a change in one or more of these water components.

Objectives and Scope

The objective of this project is to construct an annual water budget for the Cimarron River alluvial aquifer between USGS streamgages Cimarron River near Ripley, OK and a proposed new USGS streamgage (fig. 2). Components of the water budget (precipitation, [runoff], evapotranspiration, stream base flow, bedrock lateral flow, and groundwater pumping) will be calculated for the 2017 water year (October 2016–September 2017) using various methods.