DENVER (AP) — The draining of a massive aquifer that underlies portions of eight states in the central U.S. is drying up streams, causing fish to disappear and threatening the livelihood of farmers who rely on it for their crops.
Water levels in the Ogallala aquifer have been dropping for decades as irrigators pump water faster than rainfall can recharge it.
An analysis of federal data found the Ogallala aquifer shrank twice as fast over the past six years compared with the previous 60, The Denver Post reports. ...
Also known as the High Plains Aquifer, the Ogallala underlies 175,000 square miles (453,000 square kilometers), including parts of Colorado, Wyoming Kansas, Nebraska, New Mexico, Oklahoma, South Dakota and Texas. That’s one of the primary agricultural regions of the U.S., producing $35 billion in crops annually.