Those of us with older cell phones can relate to devices that just can’t seem to maintain a full charge.
The same can be said for many aquifers in the United States. The difference though, keeping our aquifers fully charged is within our control.
The Ogallala Aquifer, the largest in the U.S., which sits beneath eight states from South Dakota to Wyoming to Nebraska and even Texas, is beginning to deplete.
Aquifers are permeable rocks where water can be stored underground. They can serve as underground reservoirs for groundwater. The water in aquifers can be pumped in or out when needed. When the water in aquifers is depleted, like a cell phone battery, it can take a long time to recharge and may never reach its full capacity.
To conserve the water in the Ogallala Aquifer, a project team, consisting of 70 researchers, specialists and students from seven different universities and two USDA research locations, has come together to form the Ogallala Water Coordinated Agriculture Project (OWCAP).
OWCAP has led to research projects that span at least three states to examine various water conservation tactics while preventing water contamination. These research projects include a master irrigator program in Texas which involves training and certification, which has caught on in other states. Other projects involve the implementation of soil moisture sensors and aerial photography to help inform irrigation and fertilization decisions.
Like the Ogallala Aquifer, many aquifers in this country are seriously depleted, putting groundwater sources in danger. By conserving water, you can help maintain the source and keep our groundwater sources, including aquifers, fully charged.
Check out DrinkTap’s Water Conservation page for how to make simple but thoughtful changes in your daily routine.