Keeping It Fresh: Whose Water is it Anyway?

In late June, I took a trip to visit the family wheat farm. My mother grew up on the farm, which my grandfather worked for nearly 60 years before my cousin took over. When I was a teenager, I too would head down to south central Kansas and spend the dry, summer days working the fields. Wheat farms do not require a huge amount of water to operate. In fact, almost all of the land is farmed without irrigation. In recent years, my cousin has begun rotating crops and his growing livestock operations have slightly increased his use of water. The property amounts to roughly 3500 acres of land which is currently divided evenly between cultivated farming and livestock pasturing. Water is mostly provided by wells drilled shortly after World War II. Considering the circumstances, this seems to be an unlikely place for a longstanding fight for water, but that is exactly what has been going on for over 100 years. To continue reading, click here.