A wide-reaching survey of Kansas agricultural producers’ perceptions of the importance of water has shown that farmers not only care about protecting that vital resource for their own operations, but also for the well-being of their local communities.
The survey includes responses from more than 1,000 Kansas producers currently farming or living in the region of the Ogallala Aquifer, which touches nearly every county in the western one-third of Kansas. The Kansas Geological Survey estimates that the High Plains Aquifer – which includes the Ogallala – supplies between 70-80% of the water used by Kansans each day.
Some of the survey’s key results are available online through the K-State Research and Extension bookstore.
“Remember that these are farmers and they live and breathe this resource,” said Jonathan Aguilar, a water engineer at K-State Research and Extension’s Southwest Research Center in Garden City. “So this is their livelihood and they recognize the importance of the Ogallala Aquifer.
“But, more importantly, they were also concerned about their community because the aquifer supplies the livelihood for the rest of the community. They are not just thinking about themselves, but also about the health of the community moving forward.”