Small towns struggle in the region, where the Ogallala aquifer is pumped for irrigation.
Business is slow midday in downtown Muleshoe, Texas. A community founded in 1913 northwest of Lubbock, the name traces back to a ranch by that name in the late 1800s. Muleshoe expanded with the coming of the railroad and grew to a town of 5,000 residents in 1970. But small towns struggle in the region, and population declined. The once lively Main Street is quiet with abandoned buildings.
Economic stress is intensified as the community’s water source, the Ogallala aquifer, is pumped for irrigation. Muleshoe can be described as a dying town that can’t keep its grain elevator full. Although to outsiders it looks bleak, the town claims the smallest TV station and the owners are truly kind.
- RANDY OLSON
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- Ogallala Aquifer_National Geographic Magazine 8/2016