Beneath Wichita, a recovering aquifer

At least one community in the midwest has found a way to protect its dwindling aquifer:

Groundwater levels were generally higher in January 2016 than they were in January 2015. On average, in January 2016, groundwater levels in the shallow part of the aquifer were about 3.4 feet higher and groundwater levels in the deep part of the aquifer were about 3.8 feet higher than in January 2015. The volume of water stored in the study area decreased by about 74,000 acre-feet between predevelopment (the time period before substantial pumpage began in the 1940s) and January 2016; increased by about 121,000 acre-feet between the historic low in 1993 and January 2016; and increased by about 61,000 acre-feet between January 2015 and January 2016. About 62 percent of the storage volume lost between predevelopment and 1993 has been recovered. The increase in storage volume from January 2015 to January 2016 can probably be attributed to less pumping by the city of Wichita and irrigators, more recharge due to higher-than-average precipitation, and higher volumes of artificial recharge in 2015.

Wichita, Kansas, and the communities around it realized in the early 1990s that their aquifer was in trouble. Conservation and aquifer recharge followed, to good effect.

This is from Status of groundwater levels and storage volume in the Equus Beds aquifer near Wichita, Kansas, January 2016, a report by the USGS and the City of Wichita. (Via Brett Walton’s Federal Water Tap)