High Plains Aquifer

(David) The High Plains Aquifer, it lies in the middle of the United States, covers eight states from South Dakota to Texas. It’s important. It provides approximately 30 percent of all the irrigated water used for agriculture in the United States. With this study what we showed is that the peak depletion has occurred in some states already. The capacity to pump the most amount of water occurred first in Texas and in New Mexico. The peak is just past in Kansas. And the peak will occur in a short time in Oklahoma and in Colorado. That rate of depletion can’t increase forever. It can increase to a certain level, then it has to go own over time because there’s only a certain amount of water in the aquifer that we can take out. We saw that there were curves that were showing up in some of the states that basically followed the same functional form that Hubbert saw when he was looking at peak oil depletion back in the 1950s. There’s an increase and a peak is reached and then there’s a decrease as we move, as we progress to a new state. And as we project out what happens into the future it basically, the amount of depletion that we have, the amount of water that comes out of the aquifer by having the water table go lower will decrease by about half over the course of the next hundred years. So, we’re on a declining trend right now and people have opportunities to make choices and to change the way that things are done and this just helps to add to the dialogue a little bit.

No Comments Yet.

Leave a reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.