Ground Water Recharge Through Excavated Basins

by Arland D. Schneider, USDA Agricultural Research Service, United States,
Ordie R. Jones, USDA Agricultural Research Service, United States,



Document Type: Proceeding Paper

Part of: Artificial Recharge of Ground Water

Abstract: Excavated basins were used to bypass slowly permeable soils in the Southern High Plains and artificially recharge the Ogallala aquifer. Recharge rates with turbid playa water were as rapid as 1.0 m/d, and average long-term rates were as rapid as 0.4 m/d. When suspended sediments in the recharge water were tagged with radioactive cesium, over 90% of the sediments were filtered within 25 mm of the basin surface. As a result, the basin surfaces could be renovated to maintain high recharge rates. An organic filter and high-head flooding treatments doubled the recharge rate in comparison to normal flooding depths without a filter material. A recharge system was developed in which erosion from high-intensity storms cleaned the corrugated basin surface at the same time water for recharge became available. Average recharge rates of 0.4 m/d were maintained during a 7-y field test without basin renovation.

Subject Headings: Recharge basins | Excavation | Filters | Permeability (soil) | Aquifers | Suspended sediment | Renovation | Floods

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