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Farmers at fault? Aquifer depletion issue more complex than that


November 12, 2020
By Drainage Contractor

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The Ogallala-High Plains aquifer, which supports $35 billion in U.S. crop production each year through the water drawn from it, is nearing crisis levels.

One of the world’s largest groundwater sources, the Ogallala Aquifer extends from South Dakota through the Texas panhandle through portions of eight states. This area accounts for one-quarter of the nation’s crop production.

Farms account for 90 per cent of withdrawals from the aquifer, which is being depleted faster than rain and snow can refill it and threatening local drinking water supplies. While it would be easy to point fingers at farmers, the crux of the situation is more complicated – state and federal policy and subsidies are driving increased agricultural production beyond sustainable levels. |READ MORE

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