High Plains Public Radio

High Plains Aquifer

Kansas Agland

From Kansas Agland

MANHATTAN - A new study has found that over-tapping of the High Plains Aquifer beyond its recharge rate peaked overall in 2006, while its rate of depletion in Kansas reached its highest point in 2010.

The Kansas State University study released Monday also projected the aquifer's use would decrease by about half over the next 100 years.

Kevin Welch / amarillo.com

Life requires water. In Texas the surface water, owned by the state, is drying or dried up, and everyone from farmers to politicians are looking underground to make up the state’s growing water deficit according to the Texas Tribune.  

Frank Morris/Harvest Public Media

Imagine enough water to fill a couple of great lakes, but spread under some of the driest parts of eight western states. That was the High Plains Aquifer 60 years ago, before new pumping and irrigation systems made it easy for farmers to extract billions of gallons from it and use it to grow lucrative crops on the arid land.