Researchers are planning to measure ground water in western Kansas to check for dropping water levels.
The Kansas Geological Survey based at the University of Kansas will work with the Department of Agriculture in early January to track a drop in aquifer levels over the past 60 years.
A statement from the university says annual data has shown decreases in groundwater levels in the High Plains aquifer. Research cited sparse rains and a rise in irrigation usage.
The underground aquifer is the main water source for irrigation, cities and industries in western and central Kansas.
Survey water-data manager Brownie Wilson says most of western Kansas had moderate to severe drought this month. Counties on the Oklahoma border had extreme drought.