The state engineer says Laramie County residents could see new restrictions on groundwater use in the future.
Much of the county gets its water from the Ogallala Aquifer, which is being depleted faster than it can recharge. The state engineer’s office is launching a study to figure out what would happen to the aquifer if current water use continues.
State Engineer Pat Tyrrell says it’s important to come up with a management plan before the water runs out.
“We have an economy built up on this groundwater use,” Tyrrell said. “And we’ve seen in other areas where unfettered, continued pumping can dry you up, and then you’ve got nothing.”
Tyrrell says once the study is complete, the state will come up with possible ways to reduce water consumption. He says one option would be capping the amount that can be pumped from each well.
A public meeting regarding the aquifer study is scheduled for tomorrow at 2 p.m. in Cheyenne.