Ogallala Aquifer | What Happens When the Water Runs Out, National Geographic Magazine: Floating on Fossil Water

Between Taylor and Burwell Nebraska — River “tanking” in plastic livestock-watering containers is a popular tourist draw along the shallow Calamus River in central Nebraska. With two-thirds of the Ogallala’s water underlying it, the state’s wealth of groundwater feeds countless springs, streams, and rivers.

There is so much fossil water in NE that a couple of cowboys figured out how to float the Calamus River in cow tanks. Now ranchers use tourism to supplement ranch income in hard times. Calamus Outfitters put college kids in cow tanks to float down the Calamus river creating income to supplement their ranches through hard times. One hot August day, 350 tourists floated the river. The Calamus is spring fed from the Ogallala aquifer.