JOPLIN | The Ozark aquifer, a primary source of water in southwest Missouri, could go dry in places if demand increases by as little as 1 percent a year over the next 50 years.
A study from the U.S. Geological Survey shows that pumping from the Ozark aquifer might not be sustainable at Carthage and Noel if a 1 percent annual increase in water-withdrawal rates occurs each year from 2007 to 2057.
The Joplin Globe reports that with a 4 percent annual increase, pumping was not sustainable from the aquifer near Joplin and at Miami, Okla.
The aquifer is also used in Kansas, Oklahoma and Arkansas.
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Research has shown that water levels have dropped as much as 400 to 500 feet in some parts of the aquifer since 1960.