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High Plains States Groundwater Recharge Demonstration Program Project
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General Description | Plan | Development | Benefits

General Description

The High Plains States Groundwater Demonstration Program studied the potential for artificial groundwater recharge in the 17 Western States and demonstrate artificial recharge technologies under a variety of hydrogeologic conditions. Demonstration sites are located in areas having a high probability of physical, chemical, and economic feasibility for recharge.

The High Plains States Groundwater Demonstration Program Act of 1983 (Public Law [P.L.] 98434) was enacted on September 28, 1984.

Reclamation, USGS, and EPA carried out the High Plains States Groundwater Demonstration Program cooperatively. Although not specified in the authorizing legislation, coordination has also been carried out with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) and State fish and game agencies to assure that any adverse impacts to fish and wildlife resources will be mitigated and that opportunities to enhance wetlands and wildlife resources are developed, where practical, as part of the groundwater recharge demonstration projects.

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Facility Descriptions

Blaine Gypsum Project, Oklahoma

Project # 3052 - The Blaine Gypsum Project was designed to expand and monitor an existing project that diverts surface runoff from precipitation and irrigation tailwater to recharge wells. Operations began in June 1993 and continued through 1996.

Denver Basin Project, Colorado

Project # 3076 - The Denver Basin Project was designed to inject potable surface water from Denver`s transmountain supply 1,500 feet into the Arapahoe Aquifer. The project was dedicated in April 1992. A total of 34 recharge periods have injected 1,283 acre-feet. The final report has been prepared.

Equus Beds Project, Kansas

Project # 1782 - The Equus Beds Project was designed to capture surface water and induce bank storage. The project will evaluate technical, institutional, and environmental issues related to using above base riverflow for aquifer recharge. Construction is complete, and monitoring has begun. The final report will be prepared in 2000.

Hermiston Project, Oregon

Project # 1369 - The Hermiston Project was designed to use shallow aquifer water to recharge a deeper aquifer to maintain and improve Hermiston`s municipal and industrial water supplies. The project closed down because the cost of the project would have exceeded estimated costs, and Federal funding to cover these costs was unavailable. The site was restored to its original condition. The final report was completed.

Highline Well Field Project, Washington

The Highline Well Field Project was designed to recharge aquifer storage during off-peak demand periods so that yields from production well fields will increase without long-term groundwater declines. The testing program and full recharge at two sites have been successfully completed. The facilities are in full operation. The final project report was completed in April 1995.

Hueco-Bolson Project, Texas

The Hueco-Bolson Project was designed to document the results of an ongoing recharge project. A series of technical research memoranda was prepared to address various aspects of design, operation, and aquifer responses of the Hueco Bolson recharge project. A USGS proposal to study the formation and transport of trihalomethane (THM) in chlorinated water injected into the subsurface has been incorporated into the study and completed. The final report was completed in April 1996.

Huron Project, South Dakota

Project # 3098 - The Huron Project was designed to demonstrate the recharge potential of the glacial aquifers in eastern South Dakota. Two construction phases have been completed, and operation began in the spring of 1994. A total of 56.1 acre-feet of water was recharged. The final report is being prepared.

Rillito Creek Project, Arizona

Project # 3341 - The Rillito Creek Project was designed to impound storm runoff in Rillito Creek to replenish the depleted groundwater resource. The site has been relocated from the Rillito Creek to the lower Santa Cruz River. The final report has been completed.

Southeast Salt Lake City Project, Utah

Project # 1955 - The Southeast Salt Lake City Project was designed to inject water from Deer Creek Reservoir into an unconfined basin-fill aquifer during the winter to recover for municipal use during the summer. The project operated through three injection/recovery seasons. The final report was completed in February 1996.

Southwest Irrigation Project, Idaho

The Southwest Irrigation Project was designed to determine if surface water recharge will be a viable way to stabilize or increase groundwater levels in the Oakley Fan Aquifer. The project has been constructed, and operations began in November 1992. Construction of deferred recharge sites began in 1993 and was completed in 1994. This was the fourth year of monitoring and recharge. The final report is being prepared.

Turner-Hogeland Project, Montana

Project # 3328 - The Turner-Hogeland Project was designed to evaluate the efficiency of wheat-grass barriers to capture snowfall for passive recharge. Monitoring began in June 1990. While snowfall was limited, changes in water levels were noticed. The project has been restored to pre-project conditions. The final report is being prepared.

Washoe Project, Nevada

Project # 320 - The Washoe Project was designed to inject treated water from the Truckee River into the East Lemmon and Golden Valley Basins during years with above-average rainfall. The final report has been prepared.

Wood River Project, Nebraska

Project # 3250 - The Wood River Project was designed to demonstrate recharge techniques at two spreading basins and a wet meadow. The project delivers water when Platte River flows exceed 400 cubic feet per second (cfs). The project has been restored to pre-project conditions, and the final report is being prepared.

York Project, Nebraska

Project # 3254 - The York Project was designed to demonstrate the effectiveness of recharge from small reservoirs, spreading basins, and recharge wells. The project was constructed in May 1991 and is currently operating. A total of 1,625 acre-feet was delivered to the spreading basins, and 31,826,000 gallons were delivered to the wet meadow. The final report has been prepared.

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Last updated: May 18, 2007