Special to The Hays Daily News

Author Julene Bair, who has been traveling Kansas commenting on the state's proposed 50-year water vision, will speak about her new novel, "The Ogallala Road," at noon Nov. 12 in Fort Hays State University's Forsyth Library.

She will discuss the state's Water Vision Plan and explain how the state, with the federal government, can bring about a soft rather than a crash landing both for farmers and the Kansas economy.

In her book, Bair's father has recently died, leaving her part owner of a large family farm operation. The operation irrigates out of the Ogallala Aquifer, the vast groundwater reserve underlying the plains from South Dakota to Texas.

Bair wants to honor her father's wish for the farm to stay in the family, but she hates wasting the water she grew up thinking of as precious, "the best in the world," on soybeans and corn. Government subsidies and ethanol policy encourage these crops, even though they are depleting the aquifer, she says.

Bair has written editorials on the Ogallala Aquifer, most notably in USA Today and the New York Times. She also appeared on National Public Radio. She now lives in Longmont, Colo. For more information, visit www.julenebair.com.