The work consisted of (1) making an inventory of about 1,500 wells, (2) measuring the water level in a network of about 290 wells, (3) measuring the discharge and rate of fuel consumption for 53 randomly sampled irrigation wells, (4) collecting about 150 ground-water samples for chemical analysis, (5) determining the flow-duration curves of 20 small streams in the area, (6) analyzing about 2,000 logs of oil, gas, and water tests to prepare maps of the geology of the bedrock and the altitude and configuration of the bedrock surface, and (7) evaluating the hydrologic properties of the unconsolidated aquifer.The test drilling was done with auger and hydraulic rotary rigs operated by the Kansas Geological Survey.Annual withdrawals of ground water by wells increased from about 5,000 acre-feet in 1940 to about 140,000 acre-feet in 1974.
In this system, the first set of digits of a well number indicates the township; the second set, the range east or west of the sixth principal meridian; and the third set, the section. For readers interested in the metric system, the English units of measurement given ill this report are listed below in equivalent metric units using the following abbreviations and conversion factors: The land surface of the report area is an undulating plain with little relief.The first letter after the section number denotes the quarter section or the 160-acre tract; the second, the quarter-quarter section or the 40-acre tract; and the third, the quarter-quarter-quarter section or the 10-acre tract. The topography grades southward from sand dunes along the Arkansas River to a loess-covered upland that is terminated on the south and southeast by deeply eroded valleys.Unconsolidated deposits of Pliocene and Pleistocene age comprise the principal aquifer in the Great Bend Prairie.Forty-five million acre-feet of ground water are estimated to be in storage in these deposits.Significantly increased future development for irrigation could result in water-level declines in some areas.
The chemical quality of ground water in the western half of the area generally is suitable for most uses.In 1940, there were about 30 municipal and industrial wells and 50 irrigation wells in the area.In 1973, there were about 200 municipal and industrial wells and 950 irrigation wells; and in 1974, about 1,160 irrigation wells.Chemical analyses of water samples were made by the Division of Environment of the Kansas Department of Health and Environment.The well-numbering system used in this report gives the location of the well or test hole according to the Bureau of Land Management's system of land subdivision.From 1940 to 1974, the number of irrigation wells increased from 50 to 1,160 and the annual groundwater withdrawals increased from about 5,000 acre-feet to 140,000 acre-feet.