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Implications of 3 alternative management policies on groundwater levels in the Texas High Plains
Vol. 6 No. 1 (2015). Cover photo: Anzelduas Dam in Hidalgo County
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Supplementary Files

Figure 10. Grid image and contour lines for predicted groundwater drawdown (m) for the policy # 2 temporary conversion by year 2060
Figure 9. Comparison of predicted groundwater levels for baseline (solid lines) and policy # 2 temporary conversion (dotted lines) by year 2060 (m above sea level).
Figure 8. Grid image and contour lines for predicted groundwater drawdown (m) for the policy # 1 permanent conversion by year 2060.
Figure 7. Comparison of predicted groundwater levels for baseline (solid lines) and policy # 1 permanent conversion to dryland (dotted lines) by year 2060 (m above sea level).
Figure 6. Percentage of the 4-county area that would experience groundwater depletion for the period of 2010-2060.
Figure 5. Grid image and contour lines for predicted groundwater drawdown (m) for the baseline by year 2060.
Figure 4. Predicted groundwater levels for the baseline by year 2060 (m above mean sea level).
Figure 3. Future groundwater withdrawal for the baseline and policies.
Figure 2. Geologic cross sections across Rita Blanca Aquifer in the 4-country area .
Figure 1. The Texas 4-county area of the Ogallala Aquifer region and the North Plains Groundwater Conservation District.
Figure 11. Comparison of predicted groundwater levels for baseline (solid lines) and policy # 3 biotechnology (dotted lines) by year 2060 (m above sea level).
Figure 12. Grid image and contour lines for predicted groundwater drawdown (m) for the policy # 3 biotechnology by year 2060.

Keywords

groundwater modeling
irrigation
MODFLOW
Ogallala Aquifer
water management

Abstract

Groundwater supply in the Ogallala Aquifer is diminishing at an unsustainable rate, which is affecting the crop and animal production in the region. The desired future condition adopted by the North Plains Groundwater Conservation District states that at least 40% of the volume of groundwater should remain in the Ogallala Aquifer after 50 years in Dallam, Sherman, Hartley, and Moore counties. The main objective of this study is to evaluate the effects of 3 proposed groundwater management policies on future groundwater levels using a calibrated MODFLOW model. The 3 groundwater management policies considered are permanent conversion of 10% of the total irrigated area to dryland production, temporary conversion of 10% of the total irrigated area to dryland production for the first 15 years, and adoption of advances in biotechnology that allow groundwater use reductions at a rate of 1% per year during the next 50 years. Results indicated that if future average groundwater pumping rates are kept at 2010 withdrawal rates, then 50% of groundwater in the Ogallala Aquifer would remain in 50 years, thus meeting the groundwater district's desired future condition in Dallam, Sherman, Hartley and Moore counties. The most favorable impact on diminishing depletion was obtained with the adoption of advances in biotechnology, which would leave 60% of groundwater remaining in 50 years in the study area. Similar results can be obtained if 1% of irrigated cropland is retired per year. 

https://doi.org/10.21423/twj.v6i1.7005
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