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Kansas farmers bite on offer of water use

AP newswire report Published on 13 July 2011

The drought is getting so bad in parts of Kansas that farmers are weighing whether to borrow from next year's water allocation to quench this year's crops.

The state's Division of Water Resources has offered water rights holders in selected counties a pair of options for adjusting the way they use their five-year allocations. The program is a condition of a drought declaration for dozens of Kansas counties that have been long suffering under drought conditions.

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The Hays Daily News reports that farmers and ranchers are more likely to participate in southwestern counties coping with less than half the normal rainfall.

Jan King, manager of the Western Groundwater Management District No. 1 in southern Wallace County, said irrigators would be allow to borrow from their 2012 allocation or participate in a flexible account system that spreads their water rights allocation over five years.

"I've heard a lot of people talking about it. I think there will be interest," King said. "It has been very dry here."

The offer is for water rights holders to pump more water from aquifers this summer in effort to save crops and keep livestock going. The amount of water used this year will be deducted from the amount users could pump in 2012. PD

—AP newswire report

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