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Ogallala Aquifer and its Impact on Texas
Transcript of Ogallala Aquifer and its Impact on Texas
Julie Archer and
Don Becker Water, Water Everywhere and not a drop to drink! Most of the precipitation that falls within the drainage area of a stream's monitoring site collects in the stream and eventually flows by the monitoring site Ignoring evaporation and any other losses, and using a 1-square mile example watershed, then all of the approximately 17,378,560 gallons of water that fell as rainfall would eventually flow by the watershed-outflow point. Not all precipitation that falls in a watershed flows out!
To picture a watershed as a plastic-covered area of land that collects precipitation is overly simplistic and not at all like a real-world watershed Groundwater comes from rain, snow, sleet, and hail that soaks into the ground. The water moves down into the ground because of gravity, passing between particles of soil, sand, gravel, or rock until it reaches a depth where the ground is filled, or saturated, with water The area that is filled with water is called the saturated zone and the top of this zone is called the water table Because it is deep in the ground, groundwater pollution is generally difficult and expensive to clean up. Sometimes people have to find new places to dig a well because their own became contaminated How do weathering, erosion, and deposition effect the environments in various ecoregions of Texas Half of the U.S. population and almost all of those in rural areas draw water from underground aquifers for their domestic needs. Additionally farmers depends on it for irrigation. The main problem is that the water in the Ogallala aquifer is considered to be "fossil water" in that it originated millions of years ago and is being replenished only very, very slowly. Therefore once it’s gone, it’s gone forever. The Ogallala Aquifer was formed over twenty million years ago. The formation process began when gravel and sand from the Rocky Mountains was eroded by rain and washed downstream. Those sediments soaked up water from the rain and melted snow forming a sponge-like structure. Most of the water has been held within the aquifer for millions of years.