Overuse of Ogallala aquifer may create 'great American desert'
If America's Breadbasket keeps pumping the Ogallala aquifer, they could make the water-scarce desert environment of the Mad Max films a reality.
AMERICA'S BREADBASKET — The Ogallala aquifer, the world's largest source of groundwater, is shrinking due to overuse by farmers in eight U.S. states.
The aquifer underlies parts of Colorado, Kansas, Nebraska, Texas, New Mexico, Texas, Oklahoma, Wyoming and South Dakota. There is no shared agreement between the states on how to use it.
The Denver Post examined federal data on the aquifer and found that it had shrank at double the rate over the last 6 years, compared with the last sixty.
The water loss has impacted those living in rural areas. One resident told the Denver Post that he doesn't know if he'll get water when he turns on a faucet.
Many streams and rivers linked to the aquifer have dried up and more are expected to do so if nothing changes. Various species of fish, including the minnow and the catfish, are also disappearing.
The Denver Post reports that even if farmers in 8 the states drastically reduced their pumping, it'd take centuries for the planet to renew the aquifer.
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