Research Paper: Hydrogeological Report: Lipan Aquifer

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[. . .] Several small springs, when they flow, move water only a short distance before it is infiltrated back into the Lipan aquifer or evapotranspirated. Precipitation and lateral cross-formational flow are the main sources of recharge to the Lipan aquifer. Estimates from published reports of recharge rate for other aquifers indicate a vertical recharge of the Lipan from Precipitation range from about 0.6 to 3.8 inches per year, or about 2,000 to 15,000 AFY.

Drinking Water Access for San Angelo

West-central Texas is known for its dry, hot summers with moderate precipitation in the fall and spring. Thunderstorms in the winter often produce high local rainfall in a short period of time. Average rainfall in San Angelo, the city closest to the Lipan aquifer, is about 20 1/2 inches per year (Collier 2011). In 1986, San Angelo had "not used any groundwater from the Lipan aquifer" (Collier 2011: 13). High summer temperatures cause rapid evaporation of San Angelo's water supply, which is held in three large reservoirs (Collier 2011). The city has more than once resorted to pumping and sluicing the water from the smallest reservoirs into the largest reservoirs in order to retard evaporation through reduces water surface area (Collier 2011). Water that cannot be displaced to a reservoir behind a dam is pumped into previously dry lakebeds and riverbeds for immediate access, while the deeper reservoir holds the bulk of the water supply (Collier 2011). There are plans to build an underground water supply termed the Hickory Aquifer (Collier 2011).

Competition over water supplies is as old as Texas is wide. Six-shooters aside, a modern mentality is promoting cooperation among cities who share the same water sources, a number of which are drying up. San Angelo is working to forge an inter-local agreement with Abilene and Midland to evaluate the future water supply needs of the three cities and to explore the potential of meeting their needs through shared resources (Zamudio 2011). That's the long-term plan. For the short-term, "Midland has purchased underground water wells in the Kermit and Wink area, while Abilene is moving forward in the process to build a reservoir in the Brazos River Authority area" (Zamudio 2011). And San Angelo is pinning its hopes on the Hickory Aquifer. Summary When production in the Lipan aquifer was estimated to be 30,000 to 40,000 AFY, which was the case before the mid1990s -- well production was not a problem and consistently low water levels were not observed. Because of population increases and mechanized irrigation pumping, the demand on the Lipan aquifer was much greater in the drought that occurred in the late 1990s, lasting until 2002, than the previous drought recorded from 1950 through 1955. In 1985, the withdrawal from the aquifer was about 15 million gallons per day, 95% of which was used for irrigation. Interestingly, the TWDB 2002 shows the Lipan aquifer as being stable without significant change from in 43,908 AFY in 2000 to 43,769 in 2050. While the simulation completed before the TWDB model was completed shows a decline in water level of over 90 feet in the middle of the Lipan Flats area. Further simulation studies should provide data to support technical and policy decisions about aquifer management and the availability of groundwater in the Lipan Aquifer.


Aquifers in Paleozoic Rocks, Ground Water Atlas of the United States, HA 730-E. (Accessed October 11, 2011)

Beach, James A. And Stuart T. Burton, "The Lipan Aquifer," in Ground Water Reports, R360AEPC. (Accessed October 11, 2011)

Beach, James A., Stuart Burton, and Barry Kolarik. Groundwater Availability Model for the Lipan Aquifer in Texas. (2004, June).

Lipan_GAM_Final%20Report_Part1.pdf (Accessed October 11, 2011)

Collier, Kiah. "City truing to minimize water loss: About 1.3 million gallons evaporate daily," San Angelo Standard Times, (2011, August 1)

aug/01/city-trying-to-minimize-water-loss / (Accessed October 11, 2011)

Fact Finder, U.S. Census Bureau. / jsf/pages/productview.xhtml?fpt=table (Accessed October 11, 2011)

Lee, J.N. "Shallow ground-water conditions, Tom Green County, Texas," U.S. Geological Survey Water-Resources Inv. Rept. 86-4177, (1986): 41. (Accessed October 11, 2011)

Zamudio, Justin. "San Angelo in talks with Abilene, Midland on future water supply," San Angelo Standard Times, (2011, March 17)

2011/mar/17/3-cities-in-talks-on-future-water-supply / (Accessed October 11, 2011)


Figure 1. Aquifers… [END OF PREVIEW]

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APA Format

Hydrogeological Report: Lipan Aquifer.  (2011, October 12).  Retrieved May 25, 2019, from

MLA Format

"Hydrogeological Report: Lipan Aquifer."  12 October 2011.  Web.  25 May 2019. <>.

Chicago Format

"Hydrogeological Report: Lipan Aquifer."  October 12, 2011.  Accessed May 25, 2019.