ENID, Okla. — Trend in levels
“The trend is still downward,” said Kyle Murray, a hydrogeologist with Oklahoma Geological Survey.
Murray said Oklahoma Water Resources Board monitors 16 wells annually in the water fields that supply Enid — 13 in Cimarron Alluvial Aquifer and 3 in Enid Isolated Terrace.
“If you look at that data for any one of those wells, it’s still declining relative to last year and previous years,” Murray said.
OWRB records show the Cimarron aquifer peaked at above-average water levels in 2009, then went into sharp decline as the drought set in.
Murray provided OWRB records for five wells in the Cimarron — wells he said are representative of Enid’s primary water source.
Those five wells saw decreases in water level of nine to 17 feet on measurement scales of 13 to 22 feet.
All five wells were well below average for the last 30 years, and one was at an all-time low since measurements first were taken in 1976.
Murray said the levels are monitored only once per year, and the most recent readings were taken in February, before recent precipitation.
But, even if the measurements had been taken after recent precipitation, Murray said it is unlikely the aquifers would have shown any appreciable increase in water level due to the volume needed to recharge an aquifer and the amount of time it takes for water to travel through the ground to reach aquifer storage.
“I do think there’s going to be a delayed response if we do indeed have recharge from the rainfall,” Murray said.
“We might not see it for months, if not longer than that, depending on how permeable the soil is. I doubt we would see that yet.”
Murray said it would take months of normal precipitation levels to not only lift the drought but to begin recharging aquifers.
When the aquifers do begin recharging, Murray said the Cimarron aquifer would recharge faster than EIT.
While aquifer levels likely will eventually recharge, Murray said water conservation still is the best answer for addressing water needs.
“Conservation is an important response by the public and consumers in times of drought,” Murray said, “and water use restrictions should be implemented by water supply companies.”쇓