Long-term sustainability of massive Midwest aquifer threatened

Monday, July 20, 2009 | 3:13 p.m. CDT

KANSAS CITY — The U.S. Geological 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 of 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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Charles Dudley Jr July 20, 2009 | 4:10 p.m.

This goes back to the many many stories across this entire nation of already contaminated fresh drinking water supplies.

What's in your water?

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