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Farmers Struggle with Disappearing Aquifers and Water Supply by ClimateYou Editor Abby Luby

Central Plains farmers are becoming desperate as they tap into the dwindling groundwater to irrigate crops of sorghum, soy, cotton, wheat, and corn; water is also needed for large herds of cattle and hogs. A recent article reports on how one of largest aquifers in the world is disappearing because farmers are drawing from it without there being any active conservation efforts to curb use. The critical water source cited is known as the Ogallala, or the High Plains Aquifer, and is one of the largest underground freshwater sources on the planet. It underlies an estimated 174,000 square miles of the Central Plains and holds as much water was Lake Huron.  

Recent studies have shown that drought conditions caused by climate change is fast shrinking the aquifers farmers have come to rely in the summer, a time when the US Central Plains usually go dry. But the Central Plains isn’t the only place that is seeing low level aquifers. According to the International Groundwater Resources Assessment Centre, (IGRAC) extreme weather events caused by climate change have led to longer droughts that deplete aquifers. Farmers in Latin America, Eastern Europe, the Middle East, and Asia are also depleting other aquifers; many will be forced to use more efficient irrigation practices. Some have taken to planting water-intense crops like cotton instead of wheat. Farmers in Texas are converting back to non-irrigated dryland agriculture — because of limited underground water supply.  The Ogallala is in jeopardy of being emptied and it could take 6,000 years to recharge naturally.  Brent Rogers, director of the Kansas Groundwater Management District 4, has been quoted saying “there are too many straws in too small of a cup.”

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2 Responses

  1. What I understood from reading the article “Farmers Struggle with Disappearing Aquifers and Water supply” by Climate You Editor Abby Luby is that water is essential for farmers to grow crops such as sorghum, soy, cotton, wheat, and corn. However, the farmers are feeling hopeless about growing crops because as they are dwindling groundwater and not getting a positive result. These results are drawn due to climate changes during each season. Therefore, during the month of summer the farmers can do their jobs better expecting a better result.

    Agriculture and Farming as we know is used in various ways. But some have positive affects while other have negative affects, on Earth’s surrounding conditions. Change in rainfall caused by climate change is affecting the aquifers that farmers used to rely on in the summer. Farming requires lots of work and it is crucial that farmers continue their work because we get our food from them. All people need farmers to do their job throughout the region.

    1. Hi Sajib.
      both your comments seem to have some new information. I will credit you for two essays, but for the next two, you need to either write your own on a climate change topic, or add much more NEW information to a blog thqt is already posted

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