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February 15, 2006 09:55PM
http://www.enn.com/today.html?id=9864

As Underground Water Vanishes, Plains Towns Brace for Costly Future

The Ogallala aquifer, the vast underground pool that feeds faucets across the Great Plains, is running low, forcing farmers and towns to find other sources of water and pay dearly for it, too.

"Out here, water is like gold," Mayor Ed Wiltse said as he ran his hands over a chart of the town's faltering wells. "Without it, we perish."

The Ogallala aquifer is the world's largest underground water system, irrigating one-third of the nation's corn crops and providing drinking water to Colorado, Kansas, Nebraska, New Mexico, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Texas and Wyoming. It contains enough water to cover the entire United States to a depth of 1 1/2 feet.

But because of heavy usage, some water experts have pronounced it one of the fastest-disappearing aquifers in the world.
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