Kansas Water Laws Change

Ogallala Aquifer draw-down exceeds recharge, especially in the southern High Plains states of Kansas, Oklahoma and Texas. In 2012, the state of Kansas changed its water-rights policies to encourage water conservation and self-regulation among ag producers in the state.

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Ogallala Aquifer Conservation

A significant report published by the National Academy of Sciences says if current trends continue, “35 percent of the southern High Plains will be unable to support irrigation within the next 30 years.” There are some bright spots: science now understands that playa lakes are a significant source of water that recharges aquifers; the USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service is spending money with ag producers and landowners to fund water conservation projects; state agencies like the Texas Water Development Board are helping producers conserve water; and at least one state, Kansas, has changed water-rights laws in order to change behaviors.

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