Ogallala Aquifer's Depletion Poses Sweeping Threat

"The small town of Boise City, Okla., which I wrote about in Wednesday's Times, survived the environmental disaster of the Dust Bowl in the 1930s. But now it faces a confluence of dangers that could push it to the edge of extinction.

These include a record drought, a lack of economic development and a declining population. But another important factor that I did not have the space to discuss in the paper is the depletion of the Ogallala Aquifer, which lies beneath the High Plains, including the Oklahoma Panhandle.

The aquifer, formed millions of years ago by rivers and streams, is "the single most important source of water in the High Plains region, providing nearly all the water for residential, industrial, and agricultural use," according to the Water Encyclopedia."

Katharine Q. Seelye reports for the New York Times' Green blog May 4, 2011.

SEE ALSO:

"Survivor of Dust Bowl Now Battles a Fiercer Drought" (New York Times)

Thursday, May 5, 2011