Saturday, September 10, 2011

The Ogallala Gets a Little Play

It's not often that an aquifer gets mentioned in popular culture - books, movies and the like, but our favorite friend the Ogallala Aquifer has shown up in several cases.  Keep in mind there have been endless reports and scientific writings and books on the aquifer, but I'm talking popular culture.

One of the early mentions was in James A. Michener's epic novel "Texas" published in 1985.  The final chapter (Power and Change) features our Ogallala.

In 1990 the second Dust Bowl in David Brin's futuristic novel, "Earth" is partly blamed on the dewatering of the Ogallala.

We even made it into the world of Marvel Comics when Spider-Man deals with a plot for world domination that includes this vast source of freshwater.  Of course, I wasn't worried a bit!

The aquifer also figures prominently in the novel "That Old Ace in the Hole" by E. Annie Proulx - published in 2002.  The hero is sent to a small Texas town to evaluate land for a mega-hog production company.  And we all know what most Texas land is worth without water under it.

And finally, it forms part of the historical background of the plot of the Canadian television mini-series "H2O".  The actual water subjects in these two mini-series are the Great Lakes, but they are being looked at as a recharge source to the vast Ogallala and other US water supplies.

There are probably others out there, so if you run across any, you can add to this developing list.  Who knew groundwater could be so interesting?

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