The Texas High Plains Aquifer system: modeling and projections for the southern region
Dorman, Troy M.
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The Texas High Plains is a region buih on irrigated agriculture. In 1989, over 65 percent of the total irrigated acreage in Texas, or 3.95 million acres, was located on the High Plains (Ashworth & Peckham 1993). Water for irrigation and many domestic supplies is pumped from the High Plains Aquifer System, with most coming from the Ogallala Aquifer. During the past five decades, water levels in the Ogallala have dropped dramatically because pumpage is much greater than recharge. Although the aquifer is large, it will eventually be depleted unless current withdrawal rates are decreased. The reductions could be accomplished either through voluntary conservation or government regulations. However, groundwater in Texas is presently the property of the landowner and cannot be controlled by state regulations. The solution to this problem lies in finding amenable methods to reduce pumpage and developing alternative sources of water for the region.