Evaluation of Recharge Beneath NRCS Reservoirs in Hale County, Brazos River Basin

dc.creatorScanlon, Bridget R.
dc.creatorAngle, Edward S.
dc.creatorChristian, Brent
dc.description.abstractPreserving, conserving, and optimizing the use of groundwater from the Ogallala aquifer is a critical issue for the Southern High Plains because of continuing demands on groundwater coupled with decreasing groundwater levels. This study evaluates groundwater recharge from Soil Conservation Service (SCS) (currently the Natural Resources Conservation Service) reservoirs to determine if recharge could be enhanced by increasing the storage capacity or by modifying the surfaces of the reservoirs. There are three phases to this study: a technical evaluation, an engineering feasibility study, and a legal and regulatory analysis. This report presents the technical evaluation and includes the results of surface water modeling and field studies on two of the six reservoirs in Running Water Draw in Hale County, Texas. These reservoirs were installed in 1976 and 1982 by SCS for flood control. Under current state law, reservoirs cannot store more than 200 acre-feet of water unless a permit is obtained from the Texas Natural Resource Conservation Commission. The SCS 3 reservoir was dry throughout the study period (March 1999-October 2000). Surface water modeling, based on data from 1950 to 1978, shows SCS 3 had runoff ranging from 1 acre-foot in 1976 to 9,380 acre-feet in 1950. This indicates the reservoirs could store much more water during periods of above-normal precipitation. Under current regulations, a maximum of 1,200 acre-feet from all six reservoirs is available for storage. Currently, two of the six SCS reservoirs in Running Water Draw have obtained permits and installed plugs to increase storage capacity from 200 acre-feet per reservoir to 424 and 4,427 acre-feet (4,851 acre-feet total). If the area experienced a flood similar to the one in 1941, 24,569 acre-feet of surface water would be available for storage. If the highest recorded annual rainfall (1941) were to occur again, 31,353 acre-feet of surface water would be available for recharge.
dc.description.departmentBureau of Economic Geology
dc.relation.ispartofContract Reports
dc.subjectGroundwater recharge
dc.subjectNRCS reservoirs
dc.subjectHale County
dc.subjectBrazos River Basin
dc.titleEvaluation of Recharge Beneath NRCS Reservoirs in Hale County, Brazos River Basin

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