The aquifer spans 174,000 square miles and supplies water for residential, industrial, and agricultural use in eight states. It supplies the center-pivot irrigation systems that put green circles on the landscape in areas that are usually brown.
"The Ogallala was first pumped 100 years ago to irrigate farms and ranches," Seeyle writes. "It is being drained faster than nature can recharge it, especially in the most arid areas . . . where high winds accelerate the evaporation of what little moisture there is." (Read more)