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​Study: Groundwater Depletion Slowing in Western Kansas

Image credit: U.S. Geological Survey

WICHITA, Kan. (AP) — The Kansas Geological Survey says average groundwater levels are still declining in western Kansas, but at a slower rate. The agency on Tuesday released preliminary data from the measurements of some 1,400 water wells taken earlier this year. Most of the wells draw from the High Plains aquifer, which includes the Equus Beds and Great Bend Prairie aquifer in south-central Kansas and the Ogallala aquifer in western Kansas. Water levels declined an average of 0.87 feet in 2014 — a slightly slower rate than the 0.9 feet drop in 2013. But it is far less than the 2.7-foot drop in water levels seen in 2012, the 2.8-foot decline in 2011 and the 1.18-foot decline in 2010. Southwest Kansas had the greatest declines, with average groundwater levels falling 1.92 feet.

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