Public Release: 

The high plains aquifer: Can we make it last?

GSA Today Groundwork Article

Geological Society of America


IMAGE: These are water level changes in the High Plains aquifer from pre-development (about 1950) to 2013, with primary area of declines circled. Modified from McGuire (2014). view more 

Credit: Susan Stover, Rex Buchanan, and GSA Today.

Boulder, Colorado, USA: The heart of the United States is a highly productive agricultural region. This "breadbasket" underpins much of U.S. society, but it also relies almost entirely on a complex network of diminishing groundwater resources. In a short and provocative article, for GSA Today, Susan Stover and Rex Buchanan ask a simple question: "How long can the High Plains aquifer last?"

This is a crucial question -- one that should force people across multiple disciplines and across multiple political divides to unite. The authors note examples for hope with good management, but this may take extraordinary efforts in a presently highly divided country. The article should get people, from all walks of life, collectively talking on a major issue.



The High Plains Aquifer: Can We Make It Last?

Susan Stover, Rex Buchanan, Kansas Geological Survey, University of Kansas, 1930 Constant Ave., Lawrence, Kansas 66047, USA;

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