Lane Letourneau and Water Technology Farms

(Lane Letourneau) I sure appreciate the opportunity to visit with you today about water technology farms, local enhanced management areas and water conservation areas. A few years ago a team of us went out across Kansas, met with a lot of Kansans about the Ogallala Aquifer and what we learned from folks is that they wanted to conserve water and they wanted to look at technologies to do so and so we’re standing in the middle of a water technology farm today where they’ve installed soil moisture probes, different types of irrigation systems to see how those systems work. When these farmers learned how much water they have saved by using these soil moisture probes, they want the whole neighborhood here to get involved with that. The state has a number of tools that we can use then to reduce water use and create a soft landing for folks. There is the intensive ground water use control areas that are basically a state down approach that we don’t prefer to use. We do have a law, Local Enhanced Management Areas and you will hear that acronym, it’s a LEMA. What that is is a recommendation from the Local Ground Water Management District to the chief engineer to establish corrective control measures and that’s what we are looking at in this area right now. The state is assisting the locals and then to bring a plan to the Local Ground Water Management District then for the local board then to look at this plan, to see if it’s the correct corrective controls and things to create a soft landing and reduce water use and extend the usable life. Because what we’ve learned from the science and the models is it’s not going to be a huge reduction that will help stabilize this area; approximately 15 to 20%, therefore this technology that we’re seeing today, these guys can easily achieve that type of water savings and then extend the usable life here and there are some folks pretty darned excited about it and that’s why we are here to assist.

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