Opinion Columns & Blogs

Voluntary water conservation area shows results

Touted as a crucial tool within Gov. Sam Brownback’s 50-year water plan, the Local Enhanced Management Area program has been used just once – by farmers in a 99-mile section of Sheridan and Thomas counties in northwest Kansas who agreed to reduce their water use as of 2013 by an average 20 percent. It’s working, Kansas Agland reported. Wells that had shown declines of 2 to 3 feet a year averaged a little more than a half-foot increase in January. “That is a real rise in the water table,” said Brownie Wilson, water data manager with the Kansas Geological Survey. The rains are part of the story, but so are diversification of crops and the use of soil probes and other technology. – Rhonda Holman