• Recharging the Ogallala Formation Using Shallow Holes

      Dvoracek, M. J.; Peterson, S. H.; Hydrology & Water Resources, University of Arizona; Agricultural Engineering Department, Texas Tech University (Arizona-Nevada Academy of Science, 1971-04-23)
      The southern bed of the ogallala aquifer is hydrologically isolated from all outside areas of recharge, requiring local precipitation for all natural recharge. Current withdrawals are so much greater than natural recharge that it appears that artificial recharge affords the only means of establishing at least a pseudo-balance. A number of observation wells were drilled at Texas Tech University, and subsequently capped until recharge water became available. The initial recharge was 2.5 af over 12 days, at a rate of 120 gpm for about the first day, after which 60 gpm was relatively constant. Approximately 1 month later, 1.2 af were recharged over 3 days at rates ranging over 140-90 gpm. It became evident that a cavity was present at the bottom of the hole being recharged. On a later recharge occasion, the cavity seemed to have enlarged. During a period of 2 years more than 28 af of surface runoff water have been recharged through the shallow hole with increases in recharge rates for each subsequent recharge period. The nature of this phenomenon and the cavities are not understood. This may represent the long sought after answer to recharge of the aquifer, but much more extensive research needs to be done.