Nothing for Water

One of my colleagues is being interviewed and quoted widely about this week’s deadly tornado in Oklahoma. As he tries to makes sense of the connections between extreme weather and climate change, I sure hope he can get through to some people who have been, let’s say, stubborn about the whole thing.

But another issue that is bad enough on its own but also brings that broader issues into focus is the draining of the Ogallala Aquifer in Texas. It’s important to remember about global warming and its associated devastations: the Earth will be fine – it’s people that won’t survive, especially difficult without water:

The Ogallala Aquifer suffered its second-worst drop since at least 2000 in a large swath of the Texas Panhandle, new measurements show.

The closely watched figures, published this week by the High Plains Underground Water Conservation District, cover a 16-county area stretching from south of Lubbock to Amarillo. The Ogallala wells measured by the district experienced an average drop of 1.87 feet from 2012 to 2013. That makes it one of the five or 10 worst drops in the district’s more than 60-year history, said Bill Mullican, a hydrogeologist with the district.

“There are some pretty remarkable declines,” Mullican said. One well in the western part of the water district, he said, dropped 19 feet over the year.

The vast majority of Texas is enduring a drought, but the Panhandle has been especially hard hit, causing farmers to pump more water to make up for the lack of rain. That depletes the amount of water stored in the aquifer over the long term, which means future generations will find less water to pump to grow crops.

via LGM. There are a ton of connected issues, of which drought is merely the worst.