Saturday, November 11, 2006

Water from the Ozark Aquifer

The Joplin Globe has done an excellent job characterizing the identification, then development of concerns, and now the analysis of issues regarding the Ozark Aquifer. The following are links to articles describing the parties involves, the challenges, the facts, and the process.

Jasper County Pulling Most Water from Ozark Aquifer (11/09/2006) Allen McFarlane, Kansas Geological Survey, said that Jasper County (MO) is taking 11 billion gallons from the Ozark Aquifer annually, compared to 3.5 billion in Cherokee County (KS), 3 billion in Newton County (MO), and Barton, McDonald and Barry Counties (MO) and Ottawa County (OK) each pulling 3.5 to 5 billion gallons annually. Walt Aueott, Coordinator of the Ozark Aquifer Project for United States Geological Society (USGS) estimated that the aquifer in Southwest Missouri and Southeast Kansas holds 107 trillion gallons and flows in a northwesterly direction from western Barry County (MO) into Southeast Kansas.

Southeast Kansans fear Missourians Literally Sucking Shared Supply Dry (05/08/2005) It didn't come as a surprise when it happened, but it sure opened Mel Mittag's eyes. "When Empire filled its reservoir at the state line power plant, the static water level in our main well dropped 15 to 20 feet. It took six months for the well to recover,'' he said. "We had several outlying shallow wells that went dry.''

Water Dominates Conference (05/04/2005) Participants in the annual Missouri Water and Wastewater Conference on Tuesday in Monett were told that the Ozark Aquifer is not an unlimited supply of water, and that there could be a water shortage in Southwest Missouri during a drought. Jack Wittman, with Wittman Hydro Planning Associates, Bloomington, Ind., and a member of the Tri-State Water Resource Coalition, was invited to attend the conference to explain the increasing pressure that is being placed on the aquifer

Officials: Water Shortage Looming (12/10/2004) The Ozark Aquifer Water Summit, staged Thursday in Joplin, was designed to bring people together to talk about the possibility of a future water shortage in Southwest Missouri. For some Kansas officials who attended the summit, that shortage is happening now, and they are taking steps to deal with it. Tom Huntzinger, with the Kansas Department of Agriculture, which regulates the state's water resources, said a moratorium on the issuance of permanent permits for new deep-aquifer wells recently was adopted for Cherokee and Crawford counties in Southeast Kansas. "This has got our attention," Huntzinger said. "The water users down here in Southeast Kansas requested the moratorium because they are concerned about decreasing water levels." Kansas law permits the department to regulate how much water can be taken from the ground. Missouri has no such law.

Regional Water Summit Set (12/05/2004) A technical study, conducted nearly three years ago by Wittman Hydro Planning Associates, of Bloomington, Ind., found that public, agricultural and industrial wells are drawing more and more water from the Ozark Aquifer. If the current trend continues, the region could face a water shortage during a drought in as few as 10 years.

Water Study Set to Begin in April (02/19/2004) U.S. Sen. Jim Talent pledged his cooperation Wednesday to a local group that is attempting to find a way to ensure that an adequate and affordable supply of water exists in the region in the future. Talent, R-Mo., met with members of the Tri-State Water Resource Coalition, which is composed of water suppliers, city officials and residents from Southwest Missouri, Southeast Kansas and Northeast Oklahoma. The meeting was held in the offices of Missouri-American Water Co. in Joplin.

Geologist: Water Flowing Too Freely Lacking (02/15/2004) Missouri water laws have no enforcement teeth, and regulations to govern water use are not expected until water shortages impact at least half of the state, accpording to Jim Vandike, a geologist with the Missouri Department of Natural Resources Geological Survey and Land Survey at Rolla.

Groundwatersupply Oustripped by Residents' Usage (11/16/2003) The Tri-State Water Resources Coalition was established in June to address a problem most people in the area don't even know exists. Some time back, the Missouri Department of Natural Resources held a meeting in the area to discuss the fact that our groundwater supply is not keeping pace with our usage. Missouri-American Water Co. then commissioned a study by Dr. Jack Whittman of Whittman Hydro-Planning Associates.

Coalition Ponders Water Summit (10/21/2004) Joplin soon could be the site of a water summit, possibly the Ozark Aquifer Water Summit. The Tri-State Water Resource Coalition, which is made up of water users, suppliers and area communities, is exploring the idea of staging a daylong meeting to bring state and federal officials to the table to talk about water.


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