DALLAS — As the hub of the largest cotton-growing region in the world, Lubbock, Texas, depends on groundwater from the Ogallala Aquifer, a vast underground reservoir covering parts of eight states in the Great Plains.

But with water coming out of the ground at a rate that could deplete the aquifer in 60 years, the utilities that sit atop the Ogallala these days are seeking other sources to sustain their growth.

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