Voluntary reduction had its chance
While former Gov. Sam Brownback tried to bring more attention to reducing irrigation pumping and prolonging the life of the Ogallala Aquifer, he was firmly opposed to mandatory reductions imposed by the state.
It has been the state’s position that a voluntary effort led by groundwater management districts and individual landowners was best.
Groundwater Management District No. 1 was willing to stand back and see if a voluntary reduction could work when Wichita County landowners initiated a Water Conservation Area (WCA) two years ago.
The Wichita County WCA set a goal of reducing water usage by 29 percent during the first seven years.
However, sign-up by landowners for the voluntary WCA fell short of expectations which prompted efforts to enact a mandatory reduction through a LEMA.
GMD board president Greg Graff says plans to develop a LEMA had been put on hold in order to see if the WCA could be successful.
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