Dwane Roth’s Water Project in Finney County

(Dwane Roth) I’m Dwane Roth. I farm here at northwest Finney County. I’m a third generation farmer. My dad farmed, my grandfather farmed. We’ve all used the Ogallala and surface water. We started this project, this project behind me is a sprinkler with multiple spans with different technology on each span, and different spacing and increments to see which way is the most productive way to get water to the soil. I’d say 80% of my ground is irrigated versus the dryland, and we have variability on irrigation where we have 200 gallons a minute or on some of these wells, we’re at 500-600 gallons per minute. We’re to a point, I think everybody knows this. Hope I get this right. Geological water, it’s from the ice age. It’s not a free flowing river. What we use is not going to be put back in. If we call ourselves conservationists, we’re actually going to really have to bring that to a point that we are going to have to come up with some water saving ideas to bring into this project, to even make it go farther. Because I think Finney County, if you look through the whole state of Kansas, Finney County, we have dairy processing; we have feedlots; we have beef processing, we have ethanol; we are all intertwined together. If one would fail, it actually would affect all of them. We’re really going to have to see how we can do that here in the future to make sure we’re out here a lot longer than what it tends to be right now, it looks to be. I think we’ve been trying to conserve water, but I think there’s always been ability, just like technology, with any other business. Everyday you have to be on it. And this project here, I really thought I was pretty up to speed, but it actually even opened my eyes more. Just to say we’re going to have to implement these deals to expand this water to further in the future. I think the best thing about this project to come to light, about a week ago we had 30, 35 people come together down at our water office. We’re actually going to be writing some water conservation plans. Water conservation, which is all voluntary, it’s one of them deals, hopefully, it can spread out across and just keep moving across Finney and Kearney County on some water. Water reproducer we think we’d be willing to save and cut back on, and it is a voluntary program for now. If we don’t regulate ourselves, we are going to be regulated.

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