Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Waiting for Rain

By Warren Arganbright, Groundwater Foundation Board Member

Not long ago I was having a conversation about the lasting results of the drought of 2012.  I live in the Sandhills of Nebraska.  We ranch over the northernmost part of the aquifer. We were discussing when we thought the grass would be recovered enough to turn cattle in to pastures.  It looked like, unless something happened, we would have to wait to mid-June, and that depended on rain.  And then it started raining.  Not a lot, but enough.  That's the problem with water.  If mother nature doesn't cooperate, we don't have any.  Groundwater is the same, to some extent.  But with groundwater, we have more opportunity that just "waiting for rain".  We can't squander that opportunity.  Groundwater is, in the long term, a finite resource.  In the southern aquifer area (Ogallala Aquifer) recharge doesn't keep up with use.  And there is the issue.  Sustainability requires knowledge and science -- in a word, education. 

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