Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Ogallala aquifer under stress

The Ogallala aquifer is the largest underground water system in the world, providing drinking and irrigation water for Colorqado, Kansas, Nebraska, New Mexico, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Texas, and Wyoming.

But heavy usage combined with persistant drought have made parts of it the fastest disappearing aquifers in the world.

In parts of Kansas, the water table has dropped 25 feet in the last ten years. Streams disappeared years ago while rivers are drying to gravel.

In some areas, farmers are no longer allowed to irrigate their crops, saving the water for growing population needs. Some farmers have switched from corn to cotton which needs less water.

Unlike energy, there is no solar or wind alternative to water.


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