Ogallala Aquifer: Water Supply Depletion Could Affect Food Output

Image: Ogallala Aquifer: Water Supply  Depletion Could Affect Food Output A pivot sprinkler irrigates a wheat crop in Haskell County, Kansas.

Thursday, 29 Aug 2013 11:46 AM

By Michael Mullins

Share:
  Comment  |
   Contact Us  |
  Print  
|  A   A  
  Copy Shortlink
The depletion of the Ogallala Aquifer, a vast underground water table that provides drinking water and irrigation to thousands of U.S. farmers and ranchers through the High Plains Aquifer System, will likely impact food production unless water usage is better conserved in the near future.

Those findings, from a four-year study conducted by researchers from Kansas State University in Manhattan, Kan., were published online Monday in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

Urgent: Should Obamacare be Repealed? Vote Here Now

According to the study, the Ogallala Aquifer will see a 39 percent depletion of its available groundwater over the next five decades, which is in addition to the 30 percent reduction that the water supply has already recently faced, according to LiveScience.

"It is generally understood the groundwater is going down. At some point in the future we need to use less water," David Steward, a professor of civil engineering at Kansas State University who participated in the study, said in a statement.

The water supply depletion will impact food production over the coming years, and if less water is used now, the effects will be less severe, researchers say.

"Although consumption of freshwater supplies has not yet crossed a potentially dangerous planetary threshold, crop yields have begun to fall in many regions because of water scarcity, and global food security remains a worldwide concern," the report said.

"There is a clear need for society to become prepared for the consequences of reductions in groundwater use that shall occur in the foreseeable future," the researchers added.

The report suggests targeted reductions in water usage today, while it remains a choice, rather than tomorrow, when it becomes a necessity. A 20 percent usage reduction now could extend the Ogallala Aquifer's production longevity well into 2070, researchers posit.

The study takes into account thousands of water usage reports, readings, climate data, and other information.

Covering 174,000 miles underneath the Great Plains, the High Plains Aquifer System can be found underneath parts of South Dakota, Nebraska, Kansas, Oklahoma, Wyoming, Colorado, New Mexico, and Texas.

Latest: Do You Support Giving Illegals Citizenship? Vote Here Now

Related stories:

Looking for a Golden Investment Opportunity? Try Water

As Drought Persists, Many Scramble to Save Every Drop of Water

© 2014 Newsmax. All rights reserved.

Share:
  Comment  |
   Contact Us  |
  Print  
  Copy Shortlink
Send me more news as it happens.
 
 
Get me on The Wire
Send me more news as it happens.
Around the Web
 
Email:
Retype Email:
Country
Zip Code:
 
Hot Topics
Follow Newsmax
Like us
on Facebook
Follow us
on Twitter
Add us
on Google Plus

Newsmax, Moneynews, and Independent. American. are registered trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc. Newsmax TV, NewsmaxWorld, NewsmaxHealth, are trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc.

 
NEWSMAX.COM
America's News Page
©  Newsmax Media, Inc.
All Rights Reserved