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SPOTLIGHT
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Time to act is now

Published on -9/8/2013, 12:19 PM

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Time to act is now

David Steward, Kansas State University professor, in his recent study of Ogallala Aquifer depletion, stated "The time to act will soon be past" in an Aug. 27 article in The hays Daily News.

First, we must answer a vital question, "How do we manage the water withdrawal and recharge rates so the aquifer can provide water for beneficial uses on a sustainable basis for current and future generations?"

The answer depends on at least three facts. The entire aquifer is located beneath parts of eight states. The aquifer depth, thickness, flows and water quality vary at different locations beneath the states. Aquifer withdrawal/recharge rates have effects on, and are affected by, the choices and actions of people living in the states.

These aquifer characteristics likely require at least three acts. First, scientists collect, analyze and use biological, hydrological, economic, social, etc., ideas and facts necessary for measuring and managing withdrawals/recharges and their effects. Second, various interest group representatives undertake skilled negotiation and mediation in applying the ideas and facts during their democratic development of an Ogallala Aquifer management policy. Third, a democratic entity implements the policy, and reviews and adjusts it in response to changing future aquifer withdrawals/recharges.

Let's act now.

Allyn O. Lockner

Topeka

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