Nebraska groundwater levels show unprecedented drop

Feb. 6, 2014

LINCOLN, Neb. — The drought and high heat in 2012 forced farmers to draw more water for irrigation, causing aquifer levels to drop.

LINCOLN, Neb. — Underground water tables declined in 90 of Nebraska's 93 counties between spring 2012 and spring 2013, an "unprecedented" drop, according to an article on

Aquifers dropped an average of 2.5 feet as farmers pumped more water for irrigation during 2012's record heat and drought, reported the article.

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"An average one-year decline of this magnitude has never been recorded before in the state,” said Aaron Young, groundwater resources coordinator for the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.

Groundwater monitoring has been recorded in the state since 1930, noted the article, and groundwater levels typically decline in dry years and recharge in wet years.

Flow monitoring and pumping limits will be imposed in most areas during the irrigation season this year if the water table drops, according to the article.

Read the full article here.