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.
Research has shown that water levels have dropped as much as 400 to 500 feet in some parts of the aquifer since 1960.