The Dust Bowl, a film by Ken Burns and Dayton Duncan, and The Dust Bowl: An Illustrated History, a book authored by Dayton Duncan and Ken Burns, chronicles the worst man-made ecological disaster in American history.
Under these same Southern Great Plains sits the Ogallala aquifer. It is about 100 feet deep, and is from glacial melt over the past tens of thousands of years. It is very slowly recharged based on annual precipitation. Yet right now, it is now being mined with its water pumped to the surface to feed unsustainable agriculture and land-use practices on the same land that suffered from the Dust Bowl 80 years ago.
It is estimated that possibly 20 to 50 years of water are left for these 8 states. When the water is gone, the resulting impact could result in Dust Bowl like ecological consequences.
For example, August 17, 2012, there were 1,692 counties across 36 states in the US were legally declared “natural disaster areas”. The Great American Drought of 2012 at this point covered 62% of the lower 48 states. This area, 1.2 billion acres, is 12 times larger than the area that was impacted by the Dust Bowl.