Lewis W. Diuguid

Drought continues it grip on the Midwest

Updated: 2013-08-31T23:14:18Z

By Lewis W. Diuguid

The Kansas City Star

The drought that has gripped the Midwest for several years certainly has not taken a break this summer.

Sprinklers have been running overtime with cautions on water use in the Kansas City area and elsewhere. Farmers’ crops are getting toasty in parched fields as the temperature stubbornly has stayed close to 100 degrees.

Isn’t Monday supposed to be Labor Day, marking the end of summer and the start of cooler fall temperatures with the kindness of precipitation? The clouds apparently didn’t get the memo the last few years. Water bills in the Kansas City area are rivaling electric bills because of the heat.

The heat storm, meanwhile, is causing a more rapid depletion of the Ogallala Aquifer, which farmers and communities in eight states draw on for their water needs. It was only 3 percent depleted in 1960. That has increased to 30 percent today, UPI reports.

It will be about 69 percent depleted by 2060, said David Steward, a professor of civil engineering, at Kansas State University said. Replacing the water would take 500 to 1,300 years.

That’s global warming math. It doesn’t make any sustainable sense.

To reach Lewis W. Diuguid, call 816-234-4723 or send email to ldiuguid@kcstar.com.

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