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Is the Ogallala Aquifer drying up?

Is the Ogallala Aquifer drying up?

Today the Ogallala Aquifer is being depleted at an annual volume equivalent to 18 Colorado Rivers. Although precipitation and river systems are recharging a few parts of the northern aquifer, in most places nature cannot keep up with human demands.

What caused the Ogallala Aquifer to dry up?

However, well outputs in the central and southern parts of the aquifer are declining due to excessive pumping, and prolonged droughts have parched the area, bringing back Dust Bowl-style storms, according to the NCA4.

What is the problem with the Ogallala Aquifer?

Aside from the devastating effects on agriculture, a study recently published by a team of stream ecologists concluded that depletions to the Ogallala Aquifer are also leading to fish extinctions in the region. Streams and rivers that depend on the aquifer are drying out after decades of over-pumping.

Do aquifers dry up?

If the aquifer is shallow enough and permeable enough to allow water to move through it at a rapid-enough rate, then people can drill wells into it and withdraw water. Excessive pumping can lower the water table so much that the wells no longer supply water—they can “go dry.”

Why is the Ogallala Aquifer is important to people?

The Ogallala Aquifer is particularly important because it is huge compared to most other aquifers. As late as the 1950s, farmers were confident that the Ogallala Aquifer was so large that it would never run out. This (false) feeling of abundance led the Great Plains to become an agricultural hub in the U.S.

What is happening in the Ogallala aquifers?

Hereof, what is happening to the Ogallala aquifer in the United States? The aquifer is at risk for over-extraction and pollution. Since 1950, agricultural irrigation has reduced the saturated volume of the aquifer by an estimated 9%. Once depleted, the aquifer will take over 6,000 years to replenish naturally through rainfall.

How much water does Ogallala Aquifer contain?

The water volumes in the Ogallala Aquifer are estimated to amount to 3.3 billion acre-feet of water, more than enough to fill Lake Huron , with the remainder left over being enough to fill a fifth of Lake Ontario, according to a Kansas University Study (KSU).

What is the largest aquifer in the world?

The biggest aquifer in the world is the Alter do Chão, located mostly in the Brazilian Amazon area. It’s so large that it’s called the “the underground ocean”.