Texas and Kansas Farmers Take Different Paths to Saving Water

Scuttling decades of habit, legal precedence, and cultural resistance, agriculture on the Great Plains reluctantly moves toward decisions on water use, crop yields, and profits that have been put off for decades.

The Economics of Ogallala Water

Water restrictions, no doubt, will change agriculture in Sheridan County.

Water Availability in the Ogallala Basin Influences Crop Choices

Texas and Kansas Farmers Take Different Paths to Saving Water

Legal Challenges to Water Conservation Are Plentiful

The most daunting barrier to widespread adoption of locally-driven cuts in water withdrawals from the Ogallala are deep-rooted legal legacies. Like the plains geography and hydrology, the law of the land is not uniform.

Government Ethanol Directive is Challenge to Water Conservation

Federal law influences the demand for water in the Great Plains. The 1996 U.S. farm bill removed most government incentives for farmers to grow particular crops, freeing them to chase market prices.

In Sign of the Times, A Water Pipeline in Nebraska Taps the Ogallala to Serve Thirsty Kansas

Though it looks like nothing more than a deep trench cutting across corn stubble and dark winter soil, the big water pipeline that construction workers are about to complete here in southern Nebraska is a powerful example of how water scarcity and the law are converging to change farm production practices on America’s Great Plains.

Using Groundwater to Revive Rivers

Nebraska is one of several states in the western U.S. that pumps groundwater into rivers to satisfy an interstate compact.