Sustainable irrigation and better field management practices to reduce the degradation of reservoirs are something Gov. Sam Brownback is foreseeing as the future of Kansas agriculture.
As The Topeka Capital-Journal reports, Brownback predicted greater public support for both practices at the Governor’s Conference on the Future of Water in Manhattan Wednesday.
Brownback said development of a conservationist’s mentality, including widespread use of technology to monitor soil moisture levels, will reduce water consumption and expand crop yields. He also said stream-bed restoration projects could slow the flow of nitrogen and phosphorous from fields that choke reservoirs with sediment and contributes to algae-bloom problems.
2013 legislation allowed water-right owners to form a Local Enhanced Management Area, or LEMA, to limit water use in a specific region to reduce the rate of groundwater decline and Brownback expressed gratitude to lawmakers for more recent bills that repealed a state law requiring irrigation water rights to be used or risk losing the privilege.