Drought Watch: Road to Replenish Southwestern Texoma

For some southwestern Texoma counties , the buzz around town has been a question: how have spring rains affected water table levels?

What officials found, besides a massive beehive, was...

"Wells have come up some, but as far as recovery from the drought, were a long ways from that," Mike McGuire, General Manager of the Rolling Plains Groundwater Conservation District, said.

Officials measured a small increase over Knox, Haskell, and Baylor Counties. Knox's wells had an average increase of just under 1 foot, and Haskell's wells, while some levels actually fell since January, averaged an increase of about half a foot. For these two counties, wells act mostly as fail safes.

"They were strategically located next to the town that needs it," McGuire explained. "So there are wells in Haskell, wells in Knox City, and wells here south of Munday."

In Baylor County, which depends on the Seymour Aquifer for drinking water, well levels rose an average of about 2 feet, with a max of over five feet since January, and while the rains helped places like Seymour a little, they still need more.

"Considering over the past fifteen years you've basically seen a 13-foot decline," McGuire said, "and you came up five feet or so, so think of your lake that's a third full of where it was 15 years ago."

McGuire says that a thirty percent increase in some aquifer spots has provided some breathing room for Baylor County, but it's going to take a prolonged period of wet weather to really recharge. Part of the problem with waiting for groundwater is the efficiency rating of the Seymour Aquifer. Even at it's best, as McGuire told us, if ten inches of rain fall over the aquifer, only about an inch and a half can be used.

McGuire says even though the wells in Munday aren't being used, they're still being pumped periodically, so they are ready to go if they're called into action.

Dave Caulfield, Newschannel 6