Lubbock, TX (KCBD) – The High Plains Groundwater Reserve has completed 2022 water level measurements showing the Ogallala/Edwards-Trinity Aquifer is down an average of -0.63 feet from the previous year.
“It’s important to understand how water levels change from year to year because of course, people in Texas own groundwater,” said district manager Jason Coleman. “Their ability to understand variability and change from year to year based on usage patterns and all factors is a key part of monitoring what they have. It’s also a key part of protecting information and monitoring trends in water levels because people make plans every year , and possibly long-term plans to understand changes in water levels in specific areas of the water district.”
HPWD field technicians surveyed 1,333 wells in 16 counties in early 2022. The plan also shows that saturation thickness at Ogallala and Edwards-Trinity fell to an average of 53 feet from a 2021 measurement of 54 feet.
“Because of the variability in aquifer thicknesses, it makes sense to get closer to your area of interest to determine what that magnitude of change means to you personally,” Coleman said. “Over the past few years, we have The variability in what the water sees looks like a drop of five feet or more and, in some cases, a rise of nearly five feet. We show in a recent analysis that more and more wells are falling Entered areas that did show some. Every county in the water district has at least a few observation wells, and every one of the past few years has shown an increase in water levels.”
Lubbock and Armstrong counties were the only counties to see average water levels rise. An observation well in Lubbock County rose as much as 5.25 feet.
“People may be stopping the use of water in certain parts of the region for irrigated agriculture,” Coleman said. “Maybe, reducing the number of acres irrigated to try to match the capacity of the wells, etc.”
In observation wells, water levels in Castro County dropped nearly 2 feet on average, with a maximum drop of more than 9 feet.
“When people see their reliance on groundwater, whether it’s for their home, whether it’s for their business or whatever, they need to know, and we want to provide knowledge and awareness about trends in the area, how much is there, Does this meet immediate or long-term needs?”
HPWD provides 2022 water levels and historical data on an interactive map. Information such as water levels, aquifer saturation, etc. is freely available to the public.
“We do want people to be aware of making the right decisions about groundwater and its potential lifespan in a particular location,” Coleman said. “We think we have the type of data that can help people do their analysis.”
To find a map, click here.
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