Study: Over-Tapping of High Plains Aquifer Peaked in 2006

A new study has found that over-tapping of the High Plains Aquifer beyond its recharge rate peaked overall in 2006, while its rate of depletion in Kansas reached its highest point in 2010.

The Kansas State University study released Monday also projected the aquifer’s use would decrease by about half over the next 100 years.

Civil engineering professor David Steward and doctoral student Andrew Allen during their research looked at historic and projected future groundwater use rates of the eight states comprising the High Plains Aquifer.

Researchers studied the water depletion processes from 3,200 Kansas wells plus 11,000 wells from the other seven states.

Their study found the aquifer’s depletion followed a south to north progression. It noted some portions of the aquifer are depleting, while others are not.