On March 22, 2016, the U.S. Department of Agriculture announced a four-year, $10 million grant for research on water challenges in the region of the Ogallala Aquifer, a groundwater source providing domestic and agricultural water in several Midwestern and Great Plains states. The grant will be coordinated by Colorado State University and also involves Kansas State University, the University of Nebraska, New Mexico State University, Oklahoma State University, Texas A&M University, and Texas Tech University. For more information, please see “Ogallala Aquifer is Focus of New USDA-funded Research Project,” in the Spring 2016 issue of Water Current (Vol. 48, No. 2) from the Nebraska Water Center, online at http://unlcms.unl.edu/ianr/water-for-food/nebraska-water-center/water-current; or USDA Awards $8.5 Million to Improve Communities’ Water Sources, USDA News Release, 3/22/16.
The Ogallala research grant is part of a larger set of USDA grants related to sustainable water for agriculture, under the “Water for Agriculture Challenge Area.” More information on that program is available online at https://nifa.usda.gov/program/afri-water-agriculture-challenge-area.
For another Water Central News Grouper post on the Ogallala Aquifer, please see, Groundwater Decreases in Texas Portion of Ogallala Aquifer Described in July 2012 Newsletter from Lubbock, Texas, posted 9/24/12.
Area underlain by the Ogallala Aquifer. Map from the Natural Resources Conservation Service, “Ogallala Aquifer Initiative,” online at http://www.nrcs.usda.gov/wps/portal/nrcs/detail/national/programs/initiatives/?cid=STELPRDB1048809.
View from U.S. Rt. 20 in Cherry County, Nebraska, July 11, 2013. The area is part of Nebraska’s Sand Hills region, which is underlain by the Ogallala Aquifer.