Low aquifer threatens farming

Sunday, September 4th 2005, 7:42 am
By: News On 6

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) -- A recent government study shows water in the High Plains Aquifer that underlies parts of northwest Oklahoma may be going dry faster than expected.

A US Geological Survey report shows the aquifer is being replenished at a lower rate than scientists previously thought.

The High Plains Aquifer is the life-blood for irrigated farming in the Panhandle. It lies beneath Oklahoma and seven other states: Colorado, Kansas, Nebraska, New Mexico, South Dakota, Texas and Wyoming.

In Oklahoma, more than 85 percent of the water pumped from the aquifer is used to irrigate crops.

The USGS says it's impossible to determine when the aquifer will be drawn below a useful level.