Ogallala Blue: Water and Life on the High Plains

Ogallala Blue: Water and Life on the High Plains

by William Ashworth


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Ogallala Blue: Water and Life on the High Plains by William Ashworth

A story of a crucial, dwindling natural resource: an invisible ocean of fresh water under the High Plains.
The Ogallala Aquifer that lies deep beneath the Great Plains from Texas to Colorado contains enough water to fill Lake Erie nine times! Every year five trillion gallons are pumped out for irrigation, and if (or when) the aquifer goes dry, $20 billion worth of food and fiber grown with that irrigation will disappear. William Ashforth tells the fascinating history of the Ogallala from its formation millions of years ago to glimpses of the future when the Great Plains could return to their Sahara Desert-like past.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780881507362
Publisher: Countryman Press, The
Publication date: 07/02/2007
Edition description: Reprint
Pages: 416
Sales rank: 407,357
Product dimensions: 6.10(w) x 9.00(h) x 1.00(d)

About the Author

William Ashworth is an award-winning author of numerous environmental and natural history books. He lives in Ashland, OR.

Table of Contents

Prologue: The Palisaded Plain     1
The Underground Ocean
The Phantom Reservoir     7
The Flattest Land     16
Pumping Kansas Dry     22
Declining Fortunes     29
A State of Nature     34
Don't Drink the Water     44
Too Important to Stop     58
Paper Water     61
To Determine Their Destiny     73
The Ghosts of Ancient Rivers
Peering at the Edge     83
To Dig a Hole     88
Holocene     116
"Wholly Unfit for Cultivation"     127
Finding the Water     133
Circles on the Plain     142
Apocalypse Delayed     151
Minimum Water
Adaptation     159
The Opportunity to be Efficient     171
Making Every Bit Count     178
A Tenuous Balance     186
An Elephant in a Dark Room     191
Roberts County Rancher     210
Drowning Texas Tech     241
The Long Farewell     255
Epilogue: The Buffalo Spring     271
Acknowledgments     283
Bibliography     289
Index     311

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