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Water in Storage and Approaches to Ground-Water Management, High Plains Aquifer, 2000

By V.L. McGuire, M.R. Johnson, R.L. Schieffer, J.S. Stanton, S.K. Sebree, and I.M. Verstraeten

U.S. Geological Survey Circular 1243

This report is available in pdf

Circular 1243 report cover


The High Plains aquifer is the principal source for irrigation and drinking water in one of the major agricultural areas in the Nation. For any natural resource (for example, water, minerals, or energy), decisions about future utilizations depend on having a clear understanding of the status of the resource, the amount that has already been extracted, the amount remaining, and the impact of further depletion. This Circular reports on the available water in the High Plains aquifer in 2000 and the changes that have taken place in recent decades. The Circular is intended to help those who are interested or involved in the protection, management, and sustainable use of the High Plains aquifer to understand it better and make the best possible decisions. The information is based on the cooperative efforts of local, State, and Federal agencies to monitor water levels throughout the aquifer on a regular basis.


Robert M. Hirsch
Associate Director for Water




Selected Regional Studies of the High Plains Aquifer

Selected Local Studies of the High Plains Aquifer

Characteristics of the High Plains Aquifer

Water-Level Monitoring

Water in Storage, 2000

Box A. Basic Concepts of Water in Storage in the Aquifer

Changes in Water in Storage, Predevelopment to 2000

Box B. Increased Energy Costs Caused by Declining Water Levels

Approaches to Ground-Water Management




New Mexico


South Dakota



Summary and Concluding Remarks




Copies of this report are free on application to the:


U.S. Geological Survey

Information Services

Box 25286

Federal Center

Denver, Colorado 80225-0046

Telephone 1-888-ASK-USGS


U.S. Geological Survey World Wide Web: http://www.usgs.gov/


This report is available online in Portable Document Format (PDF). If you do not have the Adobe Acrobat Reader, it is available for free download from Adobe Systems Incorporated.


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The citation for this report, in USGS format, is as follows:


McGuire, V.L., Johnson, M.R., Schieffer, R.L., Stanton, J.S., Sebree, S.K., and Verstraeten, I.M., 2003, Water in storage and approaches to ground-water management, High Plains aquifer, 2000: U.S. Geological Survey Circular 1243, 51 p.


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