Rain helping aquifer levels

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We've seen plenty of the negative effects of wet weather across Texoma, but there could also be a few positives. The rainfall may be adding to our underground water resources.

Officials from the Oklahoma Water Resource Board say during last year’s drought, water levels in the Arbuckle-Simpson aquifer were 122 feet below normal.

Thanks to recent rainfall those numbers have changed dramatically.

Results of an Arbuckle-Simpson hydrology study show since October 15th to the end of June, water levels in the aquifer have rose 64 feet.

Several counties in southern Oklahoma depend on the aquifer for their water. Last year officials say water levels in the aquifer rose 19 feet between April and May, but because of high temperatures, high evaporation rates, and dry soil conditions, the levels in the aquifer fell by 24 feet over the next few months.

In Johnston County, waters from the aquifer flow into Pennington Creek, which officials say is a crucial water source for the Tishomingo Wildlife Refuge.

"We’ve got a section of Pennington Creek that does flow and empty into Cumberland Pool. We call it the lifeblood of Cumberland Pool, and a significant water feeder there is one other creek, but it's an intermediate creek," says Tishomingo Wildlife Refuge manager Kris Patten.

The Arbuckle-Simpson aquifer is in an area of about 800 square miles in the Arbuckle Mountains and the Arbuckle Plains of south-central Oklahoma.

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