There is hope for the Ogallala Aquifer.
That, according to the Garden City Telegram, is what Gov. Sam Brownback and Lt. Gov. Jeff Colyer said when they visited Garden City Tuesday.
Brownback shared the results from the Kansas Geological Survey, which showed that the aquifer is replenishing itself faster than previously believed and that a 28 percent water reduction in the proposed Kearny-Finney Local Enhanced Management Area (LEMA) west and northwest of Garden City would help restore and preserve about two-thirds of the aquifer.
Brownback developed the 50-Year Water Vision plan a few years ago aimed at preserving the state’s dwindling water resources.
Brownback and Colyer also made a stop in Hoxie, where Brownback said agricultural water consumers reduced their average water usage by 35 percent through the use of soil moisture probes, conservative irrigation habits and new technologies.
Finney County Farmer Tom Willis, who uses moisture probes and dragon-line drip irrigation systems, said that his three biggest wells pump 100 to 135 gallons less water per minute on an annual basis than they did last year, with the same overall results in crop saturation.