Discipline: Ecology Environmental and Earth Sciences
Subcategory: Electrical Engineering
Jose Alberto Garcia - Texas A&M University-Kingsville
Co-Author(s): Matthew Alexander, Texas A&M University-Kingville, Kingsville, TX; Joseph Amaya, Texas A&M University-Kingsville, Kingsville, TX
Groundwater is considered one of the main resources that provides high quantities of water for potable use . In Texas, there are nine major aquifers that can be used in a variety of ways, such as agriculture, oil and gas production, and potable supply. The Carrizo-Wilcox aquifer in southwest Texas has been used for many years for agricultural irrigation, including winter vegetable crops in an area known as the Winter Garden region which consist of the countiesFrio, La Salle, Dimmit, and Zavala. According to the Texas Water Development Board, historic well records indicate that groundwater levels have been dropping steadily in the Carizzo-Wilcox, with the southwestern portion of the aquifer suffering considerable decline in the last 20 years. In addition to the water table decreasing at a steady rate, it should be noted that the pumpage rates have been steadily increasing since before the year 2000 due to industrial uses such as hydraulic fracturing, irrigation for agriculture and potable supply. The Texas Water Development Board has developed a groundwater availability model of the Carrizo-Wilcox aquifer, which contains historic data from well records within the years of 1975 to 1999 and has been used to predict water level trends into the future out to 2050.Using the groundwater availability model for the southern portion of the Carrizo-Wilcox aquifer, the model has been updated with new historical pumpage records and historical precipitation data, up to the year of 2018. In the predictive portion of the model which ranges from 2019 to 2050, three different climate scenarios were developed to view how the water level trends change when subjected to the climate scenarios. The results of the simulations show excellent agreement between the Texas Water Development Board database of select well records and the climate scenario water level trends. However, this agreement is only in certain areas of the Winter Garden region such as Frio County. Other areas display varying levels of agreement to the well records . Future research may include understanding why some of the water level trends show poor agreement when compared to the well records such as groundwater-surface water interactions, geographic locations of the wells of interest, and interactions among different aquifers within the area. References: Deeds, Neil, et al. “Southern Portion of the Carrizo-Wilcox AquiferGroundwater Availability Model (GAM).” Southern Portion of the Carrizo-Wilcox Aquifer Groundwater Availability Model | Texas Water Development Board, 31 Jan. 2003, www.twdb.texas.gov/groundwater/models/gam/czwx_s/czwx_s.aspHuang, Yun, et al. “Sources of Groundwater Pumpage in a Layered Aquifer System in the Upper Gulf Coastal Plain, USA.” Hydrogeology Journal, vol. 20, no. 4, 13 Apr. 2012, pp. 783–796., doi:10.1007/s10040-012-0846-2.
Funder Acknowledgement(s): This work was also made possible in part by the CREST-SWU program under Grant Number 2019-38422-25543. Its contents are solely the responsibility of the authors and do not necessarily represent the official views of the National Science Foundation.
Faculty Advisor: Matthew Alexander, firstname.lastname@example.org
Role: This is my research project for my thesis work.