Skip Links

USGS - science for a changing world

Fact Sheet 2009–3005


Changes in Water Levels and Storage in the High Plains Aquifer, Predevelopment to 2007

By V.L. McGuire

Thumbnail of and link to report PDF (1 MB)


The High Plains aquifer underlies 111.6 million acres (174,000 square miles) in parts of eight States—Colorado, Kansas, Nebraska, New Mexico, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Texas, and Wyoming. The area overlying the High Plains aquifer is one of the primary agricultural regions in the Nation. Water-level declines began in parts of the High Plains aquifer soon after the beginning of substantial irrigation with ground water in the aquifer area. By 1980, water levels in the High Plains aquifer in parts of Texas, Oklahoma, and southwestern Kansas had declined more than 100 feet (Luckey and others, 1981). In response to these water-level declines, the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), in collaboration with numerous Federal, State, and local water-resources agencies, began monitoring more than 7,000 wells in 1988 to assess annual water-level changes in the aquifer. This fact sheet summarizes changes in water levels and drainable water in storage in the High Plains aquifer from predevelopment (before about 1950) to 2007 and serves as a companion product to a USGS report that presents more detailed and technical information about water-level and storage changes in the High Plains aquifer during this period (McGuire, 2009).

Posted February 24, 2009

For additional information contact:
Director, USGS Nebraska Water Science Center
5231 South 19th Street
Lincoln, NE 68512
(402) 328–4100

Part or all of this report is presented in Portable Document Format (PDF); the latest version of Adobe Reader or similar software is required to view it. Download the latest version of Adobe Reader, free of charge.

Suggested citation:

McGuire, V.L., 2009, Changes in water levels and storage in the High Plains aquifer, predevelopment to 2007: U.S. Geological Survey Fact Sheet 2009–3005, 2 p., available at


Water-Level Changes, Predevelopment to 2007

Change in Water in Storage, Predevelopment to 2007

References Cited


For More Information

Accessibility FOIA Privacy Policies and Notices

Take Pride in America logo logo U.S. Department of the Interior | U.S. Geological Survey
URL: http:// /fs/2009/3005/index.html
Page Contact Information: Contact USGS
Page Last Modified: Tuesday, 29-Nov-2016 17:31:34 EST