HPWD holding meeting to discuss Dockum Aquifer results

HPWD
Findings from the Summer 2019 High Plains Water District (HPWD) Dockum Aquifer study will be presented at a Dec. 5 public meeting at West Texas A&M University in Canyon. It begins at 11:00 a.m. in Room 104 of the Agricultural Sciences Complex, located at 600 WTAMU Drive. All interested persons are invited to attend.

Lunch will be served following the meeting. Please RSVP at victoria.whitehead@hpwd.org no later than December 2.

During the meeting, HPWD staff will provide an overview of the District’s ongoing Dockum Aquifer study. In addition, 2019 water level data, flow test results, water quality logging results, and water quality results will be discussed.

Since 2015, HPWD has studied groundwater quality and quantity in the Dockum Aquifer, which lies beneath the Ogallala Formation in the Panhandle-South Plains area.

Generally, groundwater in the Dockum Aquifer is of better quality in the northern HPWD service area. Dockum wells have been used for many years to supply water for irrigation, livestock, oilfield purposes, and some municipal supplies. In these instances, very little water treatment is needed. However, this groundwater becomes deeper and more brackish in southern portions of the district. As a result, more extensive treatment is needed to improve water quality.

“As water levels in the Ogallala Aquifer decline, many landowners have expressed interest in using the Dockum as a possible alternative water supply,” said HPWD General Manager Jason Coleman. “Our goal is to gain a better understanding of the geology and hydrology of this groundwater resource for our constituents.”

The HPWD study includes geophysical logging of Dockum wells, establishment of a Dockum water level observation well network, use of pressure transducers to monitor depth-to-water levels in select Dockum wells, and providing cost-share assistance to communities wanting to drill test wells into the Dockum Aquifer. HPWD has partnered with the Cities of Abernathy, Lubbock, and Wolfforth on test well projects.

“We believe it is the Water District’s obligation to assist communities in their efforts to learn more about the Dockum Aquifer. During the past few years, we have obtained valuable data from this study. The Board wants to share this information with the public whenever possible,” said HPWD Board President Lynn Tate of Amarillo.

HPWD did not require permitting and spacing of Dockum Aquifer wells until Jan. 2009.

“The Board of Directors is interested in knowing how this process is working for those interested in drilling Dockum wells on their property. We would value such feedback at the Dec. 5 meeting,” said Coleman.

Be sure to “like” the High Plains Water District Facebook page to receive updates on district activities or follow us on Twitter at @HPUWCD.

Created in 1951 by local residents and the Texas Legislature, the High Plains Water District works to conserve, preserve, protect, and prevent waste of underground water in aquifers within its 16-county service area. HPWD is the first groundwater conservation district created in Texas.

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