A newly released university study shows that Kansas lost about $110 million annually between 1996 and 2005 in the value of its High Plains Aquifer.
The study, conducted by a Yale University team, was led by Eli Fenichel, assistant professor at the Yale School of Forestry and Environment Studies.
The aquifer is a vast underground water resource.
The analysis shows that such things as groundwater extraction and management changes reduced the state’s groundwater wealth by $110 million a year between 1996 and 2005, for a total loss of about $1.1 billion.
The study used the Kansas aquifer as an example to look at setting dollar amounts on “natural capital,” or natural resources such as water, fish and forests. The amount was calculated in 2005 dollars.