The Ogallala Aquifer is a massive natural underground water source — the largest in the contiguous U.S. — that fuels crop irrigation in eight states in the central U.S., and it’s been experiencing a high-profile drawdown in recent years. But technology and conservation practices are increasingly being enlisted in efforts to slow down or even possibly reverse depletion to sustain the water source for future generations. Officials in Kansas kicked off a new effort this week to develop and restore a network of “playas,” or natural wetlands and lakes around the state. Project managers say the project — focusing initially on two agriculture-rich yet parched counties — should enable more recharge of wells around those playas, ultimately sustaining a resource whose days, many say, are numbered given the outflow for crop irrigation and other uses. See more about the Ogallala Aquifer situation and new project.