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Water-level Change in the High Plains Aquifer System

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Detailed Description

In 1986, Congress directed the USGS to regularly report groundwater-level changes in the High Plains aquifer system. To comply with this directive, the USGS compares water levels measured every two years. By measuring water levels across the entire aquifer in one year, measurements made two years later enable calculation of changes over time. Measured water levels from different periods can be used to map changes within the aquifer. The animation is one way to illustrate how groundwater-level changes occur through time.

The flyover begins in the panhandle of Texas where water levels have declined more than 150 feet in some areas. The flyover then moves northward through the panhandle of Oklahoma and Kansas, where water level declines also have declined more than 150 feet. The flyover ends with a view of western Nebraska, where water levels over much of the area are within 10 feet of estimated predevelopment conditions. Note: The depressions illustrated in the animation represent removal of groundwater from the saturated zone below the water table and cannot be observed looking at the land surface.




Public Domain.