Interim Report

Team Number: 038
School Name: Clayton High School
Area of Science: Earth Science
Project Title: The Ogallala Aquifer
Project Abstract: http://mode.lanl.k12.nm.us/97.98/abstracts/038.html
Interim Report: http://mode.lanl.k12.nm.us/97.98/interims/038.html
Final Report: http://mode.lanl.k12.nm.us/97.98/finalreports/038/finalreport.html

The Ogallala Aquifer is a huge underground reservoir stretching across eight states. It ranges from parts in South Dakota and Wyoming, all the way down to Texas. A total of 1.5 percent lies under the soil of New Mexico. This isn't much, but it is the lifeline to several small towns. Clayton is one of those small towns, with a population of 2,500 people, mainly dependant on the Ogallala to maintain its existence.

As vast as the reservoir is, we have narrowed our project down to the concerns of our own town, and how it relates to the Ogallala. Clayton rests on a small portion of the Ogallala. There are many variables that we must consider in the depletion of this cache of water under Clayton, here are some general variables:

I. Water Usage: - population - normal in-town use - industry use (feed lots, etc...) - increase in population and industry

II. Water Amount in different places: - need information from soil conservation on the amount of water in different pools in our project area, and the location of the pools. Remember that an aquifer is not a big under ground lake, it is a series of pools, some large, some small.

III. Temperature and climate: - we may want to make the climate a constant because of the large amount of variables involved, and how unpredictable it is. We could use an average climate, but it wouldn't be very accurate. - Water usage during drought (more), and recharge during drought (less) - dryer= more irrigation in nearby farms of Clayton - more rain or precipitation means less irrigation, and more recharge

IV. Recharge: - recharge will be hard to calculate, and will probably be very small, but we think it is necessary since our project is only covering a small amount of land. - temperature (climate) - soil types, locate the different types in our area, and determine seepage rate and variables for them, each soil is different. - Recharge from bodies of water (like Clayton Lake)

Most of the facts and digits that we will obtain for our project will come from the Union County Soil Conservation. Our progress so far has come along rather well. The Internet has supplied us with a good background for our project. We had originally intended to find how much water the entire Ogallala Aquifer would lose by any given year in the future, but this proved to be to immense a task. After researching the Ogallala and discovering how much water actually was being lost each year we turned to our own back yard here in Clayton. Having narrowed our project down to the concerns of the water table under Clayton we proceed to gathering information for our project.

Our program will consist of floating many of the variables. Several "if" statements will be used in our program. Many of the formulas that we will be using in our project, we don't have yet because of our continued research into the subject. But, when all of the information has been collected, progress will be swift and efficient.

After the Christmas break, we will continue with a little bit of research but concentrate mostly on programming.

Team Members:

Sponsoring Teacher(s):

Project Advisor(s):

New Mexico High School Supercomputing Challenge