The prevalence of the caliche is partly due to the ready evaporation of soil moisture and the semiarid climate; the aridity increases the amount of evaporation, which in turn increases the amount of caliche in the soil.
Still, losses to the aquifer between and equated to a third of its cumulative depletion during the entire 20th century.
In many locations, the aquifer is overlain, in the vadose zonewith a shallow layer of caliche that is practically impermeable ; this limits the amount of water able to recharge the aquifer from the land surface.
Change in groundwater storage[ edit ] Ground water levels decline when the rate of extraction by irrigation exceeds the rate of recharge. Many farmers in the Texas High Plainswhich rely particularly on the underground source, are now turning Ogallala aquifer research paper from irrigated agriculture as they become aware of the hazards of overpumping.
However, the soil of the playa lakes is different and not lined with caliche, making these some of the few areas where the aquifer can recharge. Both mechanisms reduce the amount of recharge water that reaches the water table.
The USGS has performed several studies of the aquifer, to determine what is coming in groundwater recharge from the surfacewhat is leaving water pumped out and baseflow to streamsand what the net changes in storage are rise, fall or no change.
Sixty years of intensive farming using huge center-pivot irrigators has emptied parts of the High Plains Aquifer. Recharge in the aquifer ranges from 0. The major differences are time and depth.
In the 21st century, recognition of the significance of the aquifer has led to increased coverage from regional and international journalists.
Hydraulic conductivityor the ability for a fluid water to move through porous material, ranges from 25 to feet 7. In other areas, such as parts of eastern and central Nebraska and of the region south of Lubbock, Texaswater levels have risen since Its deepest part is ft.
The destruction of playas by farmers and development decreases the available recharge area. The depth of the Ogallala varies with the shape of then-prevailing surface, being deepest where it fills ancient valleys and channels.
Early settlers of the semiarid High Plains were plagued by crop failures due to cycles of droughtculminating in the disastrous Dust Bowl of the s. However, byas the water consumption efficiency of the center-pivot irrigator improved over the years, farmers chose to plant more intensively, irrigate more land, and grow thirstier crops rather than reduce water consumption.
Because of this, the rivers receive groundwater flow baseflowcarrying it out of the region rather than recharging the aquifer. Much of the plains region is semiaridwith steady winds that hasten evaporation of surface water and precipitation.
While groundwater is a renewable source, reserves replenish relatively slowly. The success of large-scale farming in areas that do not have adequate precipitation and do not always have perennial surface water for diversion has depended heavily on pumping groundwater for irrigation.
Present-day recharge of the aquifer with fresh water occurs at an exceedingly slow rate, suggesting that much of the water in its pore spaces is paleowaterdating back to the most recent ice age and probably earlier.
General characteristics[ edit ] The deposition of aquifer material dates back two to six million years, from the late Miocene to early Pliocene ages when the southern Rocky Mountains were still tectonically active. Groundwater within the Ogallala generally flows from west to east at an average rate of a foot per day.
Producers have taken steps to reduce their reliance on irrigated water. In extreme cases, the deepening of wells was required to reach the steadily falling water table.nber working paper series the evolving impact of the ogallala aquifer: agricultural adaptation to groundwater and climate richard hornbeck pinar keskin.
Ogallala Summit white papers A key goal of the Ogallala Aquifer Summit is to help facilitate the exchange of information across state lines.
A white paper from each state was put together for the Summit to. Paper presents changes in Ogallala Aquifer groundwater quality. In a new paper published by the Texas Water Journal (TWJ), a group of researchers for the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Agricultural Research Service (ARS), found that the quality of water being extracted from the Ogallala Aquifer changes in complex and.
CRP Effects on the Ogallala Aquifer. RWO FINAL REPORT. submitted to. United States Geological Survey. through the. Texas Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research. Methods of Conserving the Ogallala Aquifer: The Ogallala Aquifer is among the largest in the world. The Aquifer is located in United States of America.
Possible Impacts of Global Warming on the Hydrology of the Ogallala Aquifer Region. Authors; Authors and affiliations; Norman J. Rosenberg; Daniel J. Epstein; In this paper we attempt to anticipate the possible impacts of climate change on the sustainability of the aquifer as a source of water for irrigation and other purposes in the region.Download