The Enid News and Eagle, Enid, OK

Progress 2013

April 6, 2013

An underground movement

Conservation ... and months of normal rainfall ... the best solution to area water woes, experts say

ENID, Okla. — As rain falls over Enid on a cold day in April, it’s hard to concentrate on worries about surface moisture, but way below ground the story is a little drier, and the trend in available water supply in northern Oklahoma aquifers is decline.

Source of water

Enid was built atop its own water source: Enid Isolated Terrace (EIT), a roughly 80-square-mile aquifer below central Garfield County.

The city has long since outgrown the capacity of this aquifer and now relies predominantly on water pumped from wells fed by Cimarron Alluvial Aquifer.

Noel Osborn, a hydrologist with U.S. Geological Survey Oklahoma Water Science Center, told the Enid News & Eagle last summer both aquifers were formed by ancient rivers.

“They’re both related to streams and river deposits,” Osborn said of Enid’s two major water sources. “Rivers and streams carry sediment with them, and over thousands and millions of years you can accumulate fairly thick deposits of sands, gravels and clays that can hold water.”

Water, from rainfall, river flow and irrigation, seeps down through the soil into this permeable layer — the aquifer — where it is stored.

Osborn said Enid Isolated Terrace is so-named because it, at some point in ancient history, became cut off from the river that deposited its permeable layer of rock, sand and clay. She said the Enid aquifer likely once was connected to the Cimarron aquifer or Salt Fork of the Arkansas River to the north, or possibly both.

Osborn said the EIT has much less capacity than the Cimarron for two reasons: it is much smaller in area, allowing for less capture of precipitation from the surface, and the layer of permeable rock and soil in the EIT is much thinner than that in the Cimarron aquifer.

Osborn said the “saturated thickness” of an aquifer is a major factor in its water storage capacity. The EIT is little more than 17 feet in thickness, while the Cimarron aquifer ranges as thick as 110 feet and averages a thickness of 28 feet.

That greater thickness, paired with the Cimarron aquifer’s much larger area, stretching from Woods County to the southeast across Major and Kingfisher counties and into Logan County, gives the Cimarron much greater storage capacity: 4.47 million acre-feet in the Cimarron compared to 470,000 acre-feet in the EIT, according to USGS surveys from the 1980s.

According to OWRB records, most of the city’s wells in the EIT, excluding private wells and rural water districts, date back to the 1950s. Newer wells, beginning in the 1970s, are on the Cimarron, clustered west of Drummond, in the Ames area, near Ringwood and west of Cleo Springs, all in Major and Woods counties.

According to OWRB figures, 87 percent of Enid’s permitted water production now comes from the Cimarron.

Text Only
Progress 2013
  • Progress cover page.jpg 2013 OUR HERITAGE, OUR FUTURE

    The News & Eagle puts out an annual Progress edition. This year's 2013 Our Heritage, Our Future focuses the Enid area's rich heritage and its current and future endeavors.

    Read individual stories on the enidnews.com site HERE

    Links to Full Edition pdf format: Economic Development | Health & Wellness | Education | Northwest Oklahoma | Faith | Family | Agriculture & Energy | Community Service

    Our Progress edition also is available as part of our digital newspaper. Learn more about the ENE e-edition HERE.

    February 16, 2013 1 Photo 1 Link

  • Bob Farrell_1_BV.jpg A time to give

    Bob Farrell volunteers for a number of organizations throughout Enid, a labor of love that began during his 25-year active duty Air Force career, at which time he rose to the rank of chief master sergeant.

    April 13, 2013 2 Photos 1 Link

  • experiment.jpg Growth spurt

    The market normally opens the second Saturday of May, the week after Tri-State Music Festival. June 22 is the annual GreEnid promotion. Hours are 8-11 a.m. each Saturday during the season.

    April 13, 2013 3 Photos 1 Link

  • Nonprofits Seminar_2_BV.jpg A way to fund progress

    Cherokee Strip Community Foundation was started in 1999 and began receiving funds in 2000. The initial funds were raised because of a challenge match from Sisters of Mercy, former owners of St. Mary’s Regional Medical Center, which started the match program as a way to help the community.

    April 13, 2013 2 Photos 1 Link

  • Foster_Grandparent_BH.jpg 'I love you Grandma warms my heart'

    “I can tell Grandma one time, and she knows what the children need, grabs her stuff and goes and does it. It’s like having another teacher.” — Hoover Elementary teacher Nicole Moneypenny

    April 13, 2013 1 Photo 1 Link

  • AmTryke_3_BV.jpg AMBUCS pride

    “Enid is known as the AMBUCS capital of the world because there’s more AMBUCS in Enid per capita than any other city in the country." — Kent Clingenpeel, National AMBUCS president and Enid AM AMBUCS member

    April 13, 2013 2 Photos 1 Link

  • Volunteers_Alisha Jones_4.jpg 'A beautiful thing'

    “When we talk about developing professional airmen, our community involvement is a big part of it.” — Col. Darren James, commander of 71st Flying Training Wing

    April 13, 2013 4 Photos 1 Link

  • Stepping_Stones_1_BH.jpg Helping people overcome

    Stepping Stones and Van’s House are housed at the same facility and are there to provide help for those who are struggling with drug or alcohol addiction.

    April 13, 2013 1 Photo 1 Link

  • Park Avenue Thrift_1_BV.jpg People making a difference

    From vocational rehabilitation and homeless shelter services to community arts programs, a significant portion of Enid’s non-profit causes benefit directly when people shop at or donate to local thrift stores.

    April 13, 2013 1 Photo 1 Link

  • JWL_1_BV.jpg Care to share

    Junior Welfare League bought adjoining buildings downtown and has been operating Return Engagement from one of the buildings but hopes to expand the store throughout both buildings.

    April 13, 2013 3 Photos 1 Link