Officials uncertain about Nebraska's groundwater outlook

LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) - Unlike in Texas, groundwater levels in the aquifer beneath Nebraska have generally remained healthy, but officials aren't sure if that will continue as farmers continue to irrigate. Experts at the U.S. Geologic Survey agency that study the vast underground bodies of water that stretch beneath eight states say they can't predict how the aquifer will fare. Steve Peterson, lead hydrologist for the High Plains Groundwater Availability Study, says the aquifer's future will depend on regulations and water-management decisions farmers and officials make. Peterson says in Texas and other Southern Plains states groundwater levels have fallen more than 150 feet compared to the era before irrigation. Peterson is working on a new report due out this fall that will look at groundwater issues.