09 Jul '18, 1pm

Farmers today have to drill ever deeper wells in order to pump water for irrigation.

November 1, 1998 - October 31, 2016JPEG November 1, 1998 - October 31, 2016JPEG The High Plains Aquifer , also known as the Ogallala Aquifer , is under stress. Farmers today have to drill ever deeper wells in order to pump water for irrigation, and one recent study found the aquifer to be under more strain than any other in the United States. About 30 percent of the water once stored beneath Kansas is already gone, and another 40 percent will be gone within 50 years if current trends continue. Nonetheless, pumping continues. Data collected by the MODIS sensors on Aqua and Terra satellites and other sources show that irrigation is increasing in some parts of the aquifer. One study found that 519,000 more hectares were irrigated in 2007 compared to 2002—97 percent of the total added in the United States during that period. While MODIS can monitor regional trends, it cannot e...

Full article: https://earthobservatory.nasa.gov/images/92387/satellites...

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