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Heeding some sage advice from Ben Franklin who once said "When the well is dry, we'll know the worth of water", local and federal agencies begin collecting data on the use and availability of groundwater. Mike Smith has the story:
GREENE COUNTY NEWS RELEASE
JUNE 12, 2006
GROUNDWATER STUDY TO BEGIN
Greene County, in conjunction with City Utilities and the United States Geological Survey (USGS) announces the start of Phase 1 of a Groundwater Study.
The study area will include all of Greene County and portions of the surrounding counties of Christian, Webster, Dallas, Polk and Lawrence which share the same groundwater aquifer.
Phase 1 of the study will be conducted by personnel from the USGS office in Rolla, Missouri. Phase 1 will include collecting data on groundwater use and measurement of groundwater levels. The USGS will be asking landowners for access to wells on private property to measure water levels.
This phase is the beginning of a comprehensive three year study. The purpose of the study is to measure current groundwater levels, to see if they have declined from previous measurements. The study will also determine current usage rates and project future usage rates to see if the aquifer is being recharged at a rate which can be sustained.
Studies by USGS in the late 1980's showed declining groundwater levels in the Springfield area. Increasing population and shortage of rainfall have increased concerns that groundwater supplies will be adequate for the future.
The comprehensive study will be conducted by the Army Corps of Engineers Little Rock office with technical work by the USGS Rolla office. The cost of the entire study is over $500,000 and is made possible through a Federal appropriation of $250,00 obtained through the efforts of 7th district Congressman Roy Blunt.
Though recent rainfall has eased concerns, it is important to remember that we are not "out of the woods" with current drought conditions.