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USGS: High Plains Aquifer Groundwater Declining

Map of water withdrawals from plains aquifers (Map from the National Atlas, via Wikipedia)

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — The U.S. Geological Survey says groundwater levels are declining in an aquifer that serves parts of Kansas and seven other states. The USGS has released a report on changes in groundwater levels in the High Plains Aquifer, also known as the Ogallala Aquifer. USGS scientist Virginia McGuire says measurements between 2011 and 2013 represent a large decline in groundwater levels and are likely due to increased groundwater pumping. In 2011, water in the aquifer totaled about 2.92 billion acre-feet, a decline of about 267 million acre-feet, or 8 percent, since 1950. Change in water levels from 2011 to 2013 was a decline of 36 million acre-feet in just two years. The aquifer underlies about 175,000 square miles in Oklahoma, Colorado, Kansas, Nebraska, New Mexico, South Dakota, Texas and Wyoming.

Map of water withdrawals from Plains aquifers via Wikipedia


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