Last week, we outlined how the drought is depleting water reserves in American aquifers faster than expected. This is bad news over the long term, as some long-standing sources can take millennia to refill.
It is also bad news over the short term. From the St. Louis Post-Dispatch:
[Y]ou can add residential water wells to the list of casualties claimed by the Drought of 2012.
For months, farmers have been forced to drill deeper wells to water parched crops and feed livestock. But in recent weeks, homeowners across the state have reported that they can't perform basic tasks such as doing laundry or washing dishes, let alone even think about watering their flower beds. …
The depleted supply isn't just from the lack of rain, said Renee Bungart, a spokeswoman for the Missouri Department of Natural Resources. The month of July was the hottest on record, which probably prompted residents to use more water.
The U.S. Geological Survey monitors water levels at wells around the state. Here's the state map. St. Louis is in the eastern part of the state, and we've labelled nearby monitoring wells.