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Groundwater Study Shows Shrinking Water Supply

The U.S. Geological Survey has completed a comprehensive study on the use of groundwater in Greene County. This week, it presented the results of the four year long project to the public. KSMU’s Mike Donnelly reports.

It’s something that many of us take for granted: water. Whether drinking it or for other daily activities, it is there when we need it. A new study completed by the U.S. Geological Survey shows that as the population increases in the county, water resources will be stressed more and more. The project’s hydrologist is Joe Richards.

“What we found is that continued growth within this model area will cause the groundwater levels to continue to decline in this area,” Richards said.

The study shows how much water the county will use until 2030. It covered Greene County and portions of several of the surrounding counties.

Besides population growth, the study also took into account regional droughts, which further drained the water supply.

Although the projections may raise concern among Springfield residents, Greene County Administrator Tim Smith says that since Springfield started using Lake Stockton for its water, now the main concern is for rural areas and surrounding cities.

“We have the rural areas around Springfield we have to keep our eye on, and if you are in any of the outlying cities, they all depend on drilling wells for water. They want to know, ‘Is that going to continue to be reliable? Does that have an effect on people outside of their service area? Who will they affect? That’s what we’re after,” Smith said.

The study cost over half a million dollars. Its funding came from a variety of city, state, and federal sources – about half of it from a federal grant.

For KSMU News, I’m Mike Donnelly.