Almost half of the water used by Oklahomans comes from aquifers, and four years of drought increased that reliance. This year’s record-setting rainfall filled up the state’s lakes, but recharging aquifers doesn’t happen so quickly.
The Oklahoma Water Resources Board uses underground sensors to monitor groundwater levels at several sites across the state.
But the sensors’ accuracy needs to be checked manually, which means piling into an SUV with scientists and heading to the country.
On a recent trip to the Spencer Mesonet Station, water resources geologist Jessica Correll attached a metal probe to a long tape measure and fed it down into the Garber-Wellington Aquifer.
The probe descended about 50 feet before striking water.