Amid a decade of drought, USDA announced plans to invest another $8 million in the Ogallala Aquifer, the single largest aquifer in the U.S. The Ogallala also serves as the primary water source for the High Plains. According to Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack, the program should help farmers and ranchers conserve billions of gallons of water next year. “USDA’s Ogallala Aquifer Initiative helps landowners build resilience in their farms and ranches, and better manage water use in this thirsty region,” said Vilsack. “Since 2011, USDA has invested $74 million in helping more than 1,600 agricultural producers conserve water on 341,000 acres.” The 2016 efforts will emphasize programs in Nebraska and Oklahoma, though Colorado, Kansas, New Mexico, South Dakota, Texas, and Wyoming will benefit as well.
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