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U.S. Breadbasket Faces Dire Water Crisis

July 7, 2014 by staff 

U.S. Breadbasket Faces Dire Water Crisis, VEGA, Texas-While a high-pitched wind rattles the windows, and assaults a flapping, fraying American flag in the front yard, Lucas Spinhirne knows he’s staring into an abyss that many in Texas-and across the world-may be forced to contemplate.

The once bounteous quantities of water that flowed under his farmland in the Texas Panhandle are a distant memory-pumped to the last drop. Now there is only one source of water for his wheat and sorghum: the sky above. “We try to catch anything that falls,” Spinhirne says.

The scope of this mounting crisis is difficult to overstate: The High Plains of Texas are swiftly running out of groundwater supplied by one of the world’s largest aquifers – the Ogallala. A study by Texas Tech University has predicted that if groundwater production goes unabated, vast portions of several counties in the southern High Plains will soon have little water left in the aquifer to be of any practical value.

An American flag stands sentinel over the harsh Texas Panhandle landscape and Lucas Spinhirne’s farm southwest of Vega, Texas. The tattered edge is a testament to the relentless wind in the Panhandle.

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