Pressure : 29.89 in
Dewpoint : 48.0 °
Wind : North
Officials monitor groundwater levels during drought
30 years ago fears rippled through our state that we would someday be a desert. This year's drought has only helped to prove that, for now, those fears are false.
News 5's Lauren Conley spoke with the Central Platte Natural Resources District on area groundwater levels Thursday.
The levels are surprisingly high. Groundwater levels remain close to what they were in the Spring of 1982. That's the base year for measuring water tables. But, levels were up last spring in comparison to '82.
"We kind of realized we went through a really dry year and we've had draw downs from last spring until this fall of around 5 to 6 feet. Normally we might have a draw down of say half a foot to a foot during a year," said Duane Woodward, Central Platte NRD.
The Central Platte NRD is expecting the groundwater to recover.
It takes years for rain water to travel down through the soil and into the groundwater system.
Water measurements this Spring will show area recovery.
Woodward believes that newer farming techniques helped to not overuse groundwater during the drought.
"We've also learned a lot about bettering our crops, so that we don't need to use as much water on them. We're doing minimum tillage stuff, which holds more of the moisture profile for the plants to use," Woodward said.
There are certain parts of the district that are lower than others.
Those are being watched carefully.
It takes years for rainwater to make it down into the groundwater system, so will we see a decrease in future years?
Woodward says that's highly unlikely. This is because rainwater takes years to move down the soil. So, as we do start getting more precipitation, it will average out the drought period.
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