Ogallala-High Plains Aquifer

Southwest Kansas (GMD3)

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Southwest Kansas GMD 3

  • Formed: 1976
  • Office location: Garden City
  • Counties/partial counties: Hamilton, Kearny, Finney, Gray, Ford, Stanton, Grant, Haskell, Morton, Stevens, Seward, Meade
  • Boundary changes: District reduced December 20, 1988 removing Hodgeman County areas
  • Square miles: 8,342 (2017 GIS data)
  • Acres: 5,722,260 (1976 management program); 5,338,626 (2017 GIS data)
  • Irrigated acres: 1,437,682 (WRIS 2011-2015 average)
  • Authorized acres: 1,632,840 (1976 management program); 2,238,478 authorized (WRIS 2017)
  • Wells: 7,600 (1976 management program); 12,763 authorized groundwater points of diversion (WRIS 2017)
  • Average precipitation: 15 to 20 inches/year (1976 management program); 15 to 22 inches/year (1981-2012 normals)
  • Reported water use: 2,971,000 AFY (1976 management program); 2,007,490 AFY total (1,927,467 AFY 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