Ogallala Aquifer headed toward depletion - KFDA - NewsChannel 10 / Amarillo News, Weather, Sports

Ogallala Aquifer headed toward depletion

Amarillo, TX - The Ogallala Aquifer is headed toward depletion.

Conservation is the key in keeping it from running dry.

The aquifer is experiencing its biggest decline in 25 years, a nearly three feet drop in water level.

The Panhandle Groundwater Conservation District says they are currently monitoring wells to see which areas of the panhandle are of most concern.

Once that is determined, they could place a cap on the amount of water used.

Users could also have to purchase additional water rights or build additional wells, both which can be very expensive.

Farmers may even be forced to try dry-land farming, an alternative that could cut their production significantly.

These consequences are a result of the Ogallala Aquifer having an extremely slow recharging rate.

"So it's kind of like a bank account that you're taking five dollar bills out of and then replenishing it with pennies. There's an end to the system whenever you have that. So the more you can conserve now, the longer it will last for future generations," says C.E. Williams, Panhandle Groundwater Conservation District.

The aquifer is at a critical stage where rainfall is needed to relieve the need for residents to pump at high rates.

Other aquifers are currently being investigated as possible alternatives.

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