- Associated Press - Thursday, February 16, 2017

HOUSTON (AP) - The U.S. Geological Survey says the extensive use of water pumped from underground in recent decades has caused the ground in Southeast Texas to drop in at least one location by nearly 4 feet.

The agency says in a report released Thursday that water use by cities and other customers has caused aquifers to drop dramatically in some places.

The report covers an 11,000-square-mile region extending roughly from Walker County in East Texas south to coastal Brazoria County.

Officials say aquifer levels have risen since 1977 in some areas but dropped in places like Montgomery County’s Houston suburbs amid widespread development.

Monitors in west Houston show the ground level has dropped 3.7 feet since 1974.

Surfaces over about 3,200 square miles have dropped more than a foot over the decades.

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