USGS: High Plains Aquifer Water OK For Now

By: Associated Press Email
By: Associated Press Email

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Monday, July 20, 2009

The U.S. Geolgical Survey says heavy use of water from the High Plains aquifer and continued use of chemicals on land above the aquifer could lead to a further increase of contaminants in the massive water supply.

Jason Gurdak, lead author of the study, said in a report that while the water in the aquifer is generally fine, the increase in contaminant concentrations "has important implications for the long-term sustainability" of the aquifer as a drinking water source.

He says once the aquifer is contaminated, it's unlikely to recover quickly.

The aquifer supplies water to eight states including Kansas. Most the water goes toward irrigation, but about 2 million people also depend on it as a source of drinking water.

The report was released last week.

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