- Associated Press - Thursday, February 6, 2014

LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) - Groundwater levels declined significantly across Nebraska after the 2012 drought when farmers and cities pumped more water and less rain fell.

A new report shows that the average groundwater decline in Nebraska was 2.54 feet between spring 2012 and spring 2013.

University of Nebraska-Lincoln groundwater resources coordinator Aaron Young says that’s the biggest average drop in groundwater since monitoring began in 1930.

Young says Grant, Hooker and Thomas counties in the Sandhills were the only counties in the state that didn’t record declining groundwater. Some locations saw groundwater drop nearly 25 feet.

The drought conditions in 2012 drove strong demand for groundwater. The High Plains Regional Climate Center says the precipitation Nebraska received was 12-16 inches below normal that year.

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