Water Spouts will speak volubly and endlessly about all the issues concerning water. The ongoing degradation, and growing scarcity, of the water supply here in the US, and the rest of the world. The continued absence of potable water in so many parts of the world. The work being done by NGOs, and charities, in the third world, to help alleviate the situation. The emphasis on WASH ( Water, Sanitation, and Hygiene ) so health and healthy water are maintained. "Water Spouts" will spout it all out.
Drought Caused Big Drop in Texas Portion of Ogallala Aquifer
Tommy Fondren in his cotton field near a well pumping
station in Lorenzo, TX, on Mar. 8, 2012
The historic Texas drought caused the Ogallala Aquifer to experience its
largest decline in 25 years across a large swath of the Texas Panhandle, new
numbers from a water district show.
The 16-county High Plains Underground Water Conservation District reported this week that its monitoring wells
showed an average decline last year of 2.56 feet — the third-largest in the
district’s 61-year history, and three times the average rate over the past
Farmers pumped more water during the drought to compensate for the lack
of rainfall, which was about two-thirds less than normal last year in Lubbock
Further north in the Panhandle, along the state's border with Oklahoma, a
second water district also registered large declines in the Ogallala. Steve
Walthour, the general manager of the eight-county North Plains Groundwater
Conservation District, calculated on Monday that the average drop in the
Ogallala reached 2.9 feet last year.
"We’ve seen some pretty heavy declines," Walthour said, noting that the west
side of his district got hit especially hard.
Given the catastrophic nature of the drought, which was the most intense in
recorded state history, some farmers said things could have been
“You never want to pull that much down, but under the circumstances I think
we’re probably coming out pretty well,” said Tommy Fondren, who rents out his
land in Crosby County for cotton farming.
Brad Heffington, a cotton farmer based in Lamb County, pointed out that the
Ogallala in the High Plains Underground Water District was essentially stable in
2010, a rainy year that allowed for some replenishing of the aquifer. Some of
the counties with larger declines had large amounts of groundwater, he said —
and farmers were clearly making use of it, judging from the drops.
One observation well in Floyd County recorded a decline of more than 25 feet,
according to the High Plains water district.
Heffington, who is also the chairman of the group Plains Cotton Growers, said
that farmers were doing their best to conserve the resource. But “the bottom
line is, it’s a finite resource and we’re mining it,” he said. His own farm
experienced declines of up to two feet last year, and the place remains
exceptionally dry, with less than 5 inches of rain since July 3, 2010.
The severe drops come amid a swirl of debate over new
metering requirements in the High Plains district, along with a first-ever cap
on the amount of water farmers can pump. (The requirements are not yet
enforced.) A study published this year by a University of
Texas scientist and other groups projected that depletion of the Ogallala will
severely impact farming in the Panhandle and across the Great Plains.