Ogallala-High Plains Aquifer

Big Bend (GMD5)

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Big Bend GMD 5

  • Formed: 1976
  • Office location: Stafford (originally in St. John)
  • Counties/partial counties: Barton, Rice, Pawnee, Stafford, Reno, Edwards, Kiowa, Pratt
  • Boundary changes: District expanded February 3, 1988 adding 14 square miles in Rice County
  • Square miles: 3,907 (2017 GIS data)
  • Acres: 2,524,000 (1976 management program); 2,500,623 (2017 GIS data)
  • Irrigated acres: 458,849  (WRIS 2011-2015 average)
  • Authorized acres: 619,890 (WRIS 2017)
  • Wells: 5,831 groundwater points of diversion (WRIS 2017)
  • Average precipitation: 20 to 27 inches/year (1976 management program); 23 to 30 inches/year (1981-2012 normals)
  • Reported water use: 300,000+ AFY (1976 management program); 549,059 AFY total (528,087AFY irrigation, 96% of total) (WRIS 2011-2015 average)

The High Plains aquifer components in Kansas are made up of the Ogallala, Great Bend Prairie, and Equus Beds regions as shown on the map below.


 
The High Plains aquifer underlies about 174,000 square miles of the central United States. It falls east of the Rocky Mountains in the southern part of the Great Plains. The aquifer underlies portions of eight states. They include South Dakota, Wyoming, Nebraska, Colorado, Kansas, Oklahoma, New Mexico and Texas. The High Plains aquifer is the shallowest and most abundant source of water in the region.

Extent of the High Plains Aquifer