The Ogallala aquifer is a large area of sands and sandy carbonate rocks that act like a huge sponge. The infrequent rainfalls recharge this aquifer and it serves as the most important source of drinking water and agricultural water in the several states underwhich it lies. Usually these aquifers, in more rain rich areas, only recharge at a rate of like 20% of the rainfall . The ogalalla (and the Edwards just below it) suck up the sparse rainfalls and store the water as a big ass reservoir.
To build the pipeline right over this reserve sponge is about the stupidest possible route that could be chosen. I had no idea where their heads were. AND, to try to collectively defend the route by water engineers and hydrologists working for the contractors shows how scientific opinions can easily be bought even when their dead wrong someone with credentials and a licensewill support the plan.
This restores my beliefs that "IF IT ISNT FOR GOVT REGULATION< NOONE WOULD DO THE RIGHT THING" (I know Im a broken record on that point but this is an example)
Go to google an look up a map of the Ogallala and youll see the number of states it covers (from Nebraska to Texas). The sand hills of Nebraska serve as a big surface sponge that sucks up the rain and allows it entry into the aquifer. They also are an ecological treasure of their own, what with the dunes and pothole lakes and ponds