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Groundwater Study Will Predict the Future of Water in Greene County

A collaboration of county and state agencies will study the current conditions of groundwater in Greene County and predict future trends. KSMU's Christy Hendricks reports.

Officials from city, county, and state organizations gave reasons for a study on the groundwater in Greene County Tuesday that will take place over the next two years.

Officials with Greene County, the Department of Natural Resources, United States Geological Survey, Springfield-Greene County Health Department, the National Weather Service and City Utilities met in CU's training center in Springfield.

The study will look into trends with groundwater tables in Greene County and explore the effects of water usage.

Current data presented at the meeting shows that the recent drought has taken a toll on groundwater and surface water levels.

Janet Hicks is a health inspector with the Springfield-Greene County Health Department.

Roddy Rogers is the director of City Utilities' water division.

He says 90-percent of the water CU uses is from sources other than wells.

Cynthia Brookshire is a hydrologist with the Missouri Department of Natural Resources-Division of Geology and Land Survey.

She says Greene County has tens of thousands of wells with over 200 public wells.

Brookshire says several private landowners in Greene County has had problems with groundwater levels as well as towns like Willard, Republic, and Crane

She says wells are dug deeper than before to reach the lowering groundwater.

Leon Buxton owns Springfield Pump and Supply Company.

He says lower water tables affects everyone and recommends conservation.

Projections from the National Weather Service call for a dry winter that will add to the rainfall deficit.

Greene County Presiding Commissioner Dave Coonrod says lawmakers should add legislation to help protect groundwater.

The two-year groundwater study will cost 560-thousand dollars and use federal funding, money from a park referendum that passed in August, and a donation from City Utilities.