I suggest that everyone read Michael Snyder’s synopsis of the water shortages that we are facing and will only get worse unless dramatic behavior changes occur. His post can be found at the Economic Collapse Blog.
Most troubling for us here in Nebraska is the massive depletion of the Ogallala Aquifer cited by Snyder. It has been the most crucial source of agricultural irrigation in the nation’s heartland and it faces extinction.
In the United States we have massive underground aquifers that have allowed our nation to be the breadbasket of the world. But once the water from those aquifers is gone, it is gone for good. That is why what is happening to the Ogallala Aquifer is so alarming. The Ogallala Aquifer is one of the largest sources of fresh water in the world, and U.S. farmers use water from it to irrigate more than 15 million acres of crops each year.
The following are some facts about the Ogallala Aquifer and the growing water crisis that we are facing in the United States. A number of these facts were taken from one of my previous articles. I think that you will agree that many of these facts are quite alarming…
1. The Ogallala Aquifer is being drained at a rate of approximately 800 gallons per minute.
2. According to the U.S. Geological Survey, “a volume equivalent to two-thirds of the water in Lake Erie” has been permanently drained from the Ogallala Aquifer since 1940.
3. Decades ago, the Ogallala Aquifer had an average depth of approximately 240 feet, but today the average depth is just 80 feet. In some areas of Texas, the water is gone completely.
4. Scientists are warning that nothing can be done to stop the depletion of the Ogallala Aquifer. The ominous words of David Brauer of the Ogallala Research Service should alarm us all…
“Our goal now is to engineer a soft landing. That’s all we can do.”