Playas Provide Clean Water for Future Generations

A healthy playa lake is a primary way groundwater is replenished by surface water. And a playa with a perimeter plant buffer traps sediments and improves the quality of water as it moves to the aquifer below. When we can take steps to increase the amount of recharge to the aquifer by conserving and restoring […]

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A Playa Rehab on the West Texas Plains

Mark Hilliard of Hale County, Texas, bought the native grassland on which his playa sits from family members, then protected the playa and its grassland buffer with a permanent Wetlands Reserve Easement. He couldn’t be more happy with NRCS assistance removing sediment from the playa to improve its function and create bird habitat. Learn what’s involved in negotiating a perpetual easement.

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Playas Provide Direct Recharge Benefits to Landowners

When we started irrigating the High Plains in the 1950s, the Ogallala was understood to be that vast, virtually endless supply of water. When the water table dropped, we thought the groundwater could flow unimpeded from one area to another. But the groundwater of the Ogallala aquifer really doesn’t flow laterally with much speed. Playa […]

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Clovis Looks to Playas to Help Supply Future Municipal Water

The city of Clovis, New Mexico, is taking an innovative approach to ensuring its future water supply — playa conservation. And what this city of 38,000 is doing might become a model for other municipalities on the High Plains. The city government put a million dollars of economic development funds toward playa conservation. Most immediately […]

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Preserving Ranching Heritage in Kansas Hill Country

Chester Peterson, Jr., of Lindsborg, Kansas, owns grass and cropland on the western margin of the Flinthills, a rolling landscape of tall- and shortgrass prairie largely unchanged since settlers crossed it in the 1860s. He wanted to keep the land perpetually free from subdevelopment, petroleum wells, wind turbines and cellular towers. He contracted land easements with the Ranchland Trust of Kansas. That organization, created by the Kansas Livestock Association, is tasked with preserving Kansas ranching heritage and open spaces for future generations.

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