We used an 82-​year record of High Plains Aquifer water table data to evaluate the effects of droughts, crop prices, and local groundwater management areas on groundwater levels. Results showed regional cycles of faster and slower water table declines.

20% of these shifts were accounted for by climatic conditions and crop prices. The establishment of management areas was accompanied by faster than expected declines. The fluctuations in the rate of water table decline suggests opportunities exist to enhance the aquifer lifespan through improved management.

Publication: Haacker, E.M.K., K.A. Cotterman, S.J. Smidt, A. D. Kendall, and D.W. Hyndman (2019). Effects of management areas, drought, and commodity prices on groundwater decline patterns across the High Plains Aquifer. Agricultural Water Management 218, 259-​273.

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