I posted recently about the galloping depletion of the Ogallala Aquifer ("We're on the last kick," he said. "The bulk water is gone").
Chad Love explains how modern agricultural methods also make it harder for the aquifer to recharge itself: "The Ogallala is Ogaleavin' "
Here in Colorado, agriculture traditionally takes about 80 percent of the water and municipalities 20 percent, but that balance is changing as farmers sell or lease water to cities. Consequence: A shift to dryland crops, just as will probably happen on the High Plains where groundwater has been going to corn crops for ethanol, feedlots, and hog barns.
John Orr at Coyote Gulch links to a Greeley Tribune story on how winter wheat is supplanting other thirstier crops.
Back on my last newspaper job, my beat included the Southeastern Colorado Water Conservancy District. I always felt that "the water beat" was like being asked to cover the secret government — where decisions are made and court cases are fought that, years down the road, constrain what more visible government bodies can do.
Coyote Gulch is my go-to blog for secret-government news these days.