Water Resources of the United States

PROJECT ALERT NOTICE (MO) Drought Activities Update

Date: Thu, 23 Aug 2012 16:45:38 EDT

Summary: The USGS continues to closely monitor the hydrologic drought conditions in the State of Missouri.

Hydrologic Conditions: Drought conditions continue throughout Missouri. As of August 21, the U.S. Drought Monitor shows 100 percent of the state experiencing severe drought, 99 percent experiencing extreme drought, and 36 percent experiencing exceptional drought.

Streamgages: Lowflow measurements continue to be made at streamgages with zero flows being observed at many locations.

Groundwater levels: From August 16 to August 22, water levels in 34 wells decreased to new period of record (POR) lows. However, 33 of these wells set their previous POR lows the week before. Eleven of these wells are bedrock wells in the Ozark aquifer; 17 are shallow alluvial or glacial drift wells; and six are bedrock wells in northern Missouri.
Sixty-six wells in the 163 Missouri monitoring well network have set new POR low water levels since June 2012. Water levels in 20 of these wells have recovered from 1 to 37 feet since the well set the record low earlier in the summer.
There are currently 37 wells that have not set POR low water levels this summer but are within 5 feet of doing so. Nineteen of these wells are bedrock wells in the Ozark aquifer; 14 wells are shallow alluvial or glacial drift wells, and 4 are bedrock wells in northern Missouri.
Currently, the drought has had a greater effect on water levels in the shallow alluvial aquifers including the Missouri and Mississippi River alluvium and glacial drift aquifers in northern Missouri than the wells in bedrock aquifers in the Ozark Plateaus aquifer system or Cambrian-Ordovician / Mississippian aquifers of northern Missouri. This will probably change if current conditions persist and relief in the form of precipitation does not occur.

Communications and outreach Numerous data inquiries have been answered regarding the ongoing drought conditions. Several WSC staff have been interviewed by the media concerning low streamflows, decreasing groundwater levels and water-quality conditions.

Sub-Region: Midwest; Region: Central United States

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