From the time we wake up in the morning until we go to bed at night, we use water all day every day.
But our area is several inches below the yearly rainfall average.
“For the groundwater and the aquifers that contain our drinking water supply, that means that the water levels will fall because they receive recharge from rainfall,” explained Michael Chapman, licensed Indiana geologist and hydrogeoloic service manager at Peerless Midwest.
One way geologists and agriculture experts measure drought impact is by how far well water levels drop.
“If we get to the point where it’s an exceptional drought, we can see tens of feet of lowering of the water table and people's wells can go dry," Chapman said. "At this time we're seeing locally, within a three-county area, maybe a foot to a three foot drop in water levels, depending on the depth of the well."
Geologists and agriculture experts say it’s normal for water levels to drop a few feet from spring to fall each year and according to state law, wells have to be at least 20 feet deep. But if you’re wondering whether you are in danger of running low on water, the expert is no.
“We’re in a fortunate geologic setting where the glacial deposits are significantly thick, a couple hundred feet thick, and they contain and store millions and millions of gallons of water,” said Chapman.
“It’s just a perfect place to pump from,” said Jeff Burbrink, Purdue Extension agriculture educator. “In fact, there are a lot of places in Michiana where you could pump well over a thousand gallons a minute and not have any severe problems with the well.”
For our water table to be in any danger of getting too low, we would have to go without significant amounts of rain for the next several months and almost no snow this winter, added Chapman. If you’ve lived in the area any amount of time, you know from experience and climate patterns that it’s highly unlikely that would happen.