2004 Denver Annual Meeting (November 7–10, 2004)

Paper No. 1
Presentation Time: 1:30 PM-5:30 PM


WILSON, Blake Brownie1, BENNETT, Brett1 and BOHLING, Geoffrey C.2, (1)Kansas Geological Survey, Univ of Kansas, 1930 Constant Ave, Lawrence, KS 66047-3726, (2)Kansas Geological Survey, Univ of Kansas, 1930 Constant Avenue, Campus West, Lawrence, KS 66047, bwilson@kgs.ku.edu

The High Plains Aquifer represents the primary source of water supply for almost all uses in western and south-central Kansas. To assist management efforts with the aquifer, each January the Kansas Geological Survey (KGS) and Kansas Department of Agriculture’s Division of Water Resources (DWR) annually measure depth to ground water from a monitoring network of about 1,380 wells. Most of the network consists of active production wells, roughly 75 percent of which are used for irrigation, the region’s primary water use.

The KGS uses a custom-designed program, WaterWitch, that combines digital maps, orthophotos, and real-time GPS to guide, store, and error check on-site water-level measurement activities. A handheld, palm-os version of this program, WaterBug, implements most of this functionality into a pocket-sized computer. Either package can be used independently or networked together via a wireless Bluetooth radio link, allowing the paperless collection of data.

Upon the completion of field activities, the KGS conducts an extensive statistical review of the data to characterize fluctuations in the water table, identify potential inaccuracies in measurements, and determine where to enhance the monitoring network for greater efficiency. The goal of the water-level program is to have a network statistical accuracy such that a kriging standard deviation of 10 feet can be obtained anywhere in the aquifer region, excluding the boundaries. This statistical measure drives the entire network in terms of adding or replacing monitoring wells.

Data gathered from the well measurements are archived and maintained in an Oracle RDBMS under a schema known as the Water Information Storage and Retrieval Database (WIZARD). WIZARD also incorporates water-level information gathered by other DWR programs, local ground water management districts, and other state agencies. This centralized ground-water well database can be accessed in real time (http://www.kgs.ku.edu/Magellan/WaterLevels/index.html). The web site contains multiple area and well selection options, interactive mapping, and online data download and processing tools.