Reports about the depletion of the massive Ogallala Aquifer in the U.S. High Plains region is nothing new, but updates are interesting. It’s both fascinating and worrisome. The NYT’s Green Blog offered a recent update:
The Ogallala was first pumped 100 years ago to irrigate farms and ranches. People continue to use it as if it were a renewable resource, but of course it isn’t. It is being drained faster than nature can recharge it, especially in the most arid areas, like Boise City, where high winds accelerate the evaporation of what little moisture there is.
So the aquifer is dropping lower and lower, and some geologists fear it could dry up in as soon as 25 or 30 years. This is a major issue confronting not just those eight states but the entire country.
As one reader pointed out to me, “that aquifer will not be recharged until the next ice age.”