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The Overlooked Farm Crisis: Our Rapidly Depleting Water Supply

24 Pages Posted: 10 Oct 2013  

Patrick Corbett

affiliation not provided to SSRN

Date Written: 1986


In the last forty years, farmers have pumped massive amounts of water from the Ogallala Aquifer. While the need for water continues to grow, the amount available decreases rapidly. In some areas, farmers are consuming the groundwater at more than twice the rate of natural recharge. Part I of this note analyzes the water shortage problem of the Ogallala Aquifer. Part II discusses the possibility of an interbasin transfer of water from the Great Lakes to remedy the Great Plains water crisis and the legal considerations involved in such a transfer. Part III outlines some state and federal legislation recently proffered to protect the Great Lakes water as well as legislation to aid the Ogallala Aquifer. Finally, Part IV concludes that state management policies promoting water conservation would handle the problem better than an interbasin transfer of water.

Keywords: Ogallala Aquifer, water crisis, farming, Great Lakes, interbasin transfer, water conservation

Suggested Citation

Corbett, Patrick, The Overlooked Farm Crisis: Our Rapidly Depleting Water Supply (1986). Notre Dame Law Review, Vol. 61, 1986. Available at SSRN:

Patrick Corbett (Contact Author)

affiliation not provided to SSRN

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