This set of articles is my extended, three-installment comment on Diane Wahto's earlier and elucidating remarks (Water Shortages, the High Plains Aquifer, and the Governor's Summit) about the hydrology and the overall scenario concerning a vital and disappearing resource: the Ogallala Aquifer. Much of what I will have to say comes from the days of my earlier, and more hopeful involvement at the lowest bureaucratic level of Kansas water governance -- the Basin Advisory Committee. Since one cannot reliably predict the future, logically speaking, we do not know where Governor Brownback's initiative will lead. In some sense, it will be like locking the barn door after too many of the horses have left. To put it bluntly, I see little in what the Governor has proposed so far that differs from the pious rhetoric of the past several decades by those who could have actually done something to bring genuine stewardship.
BOGUE, Kan. - The disappearing Ogallala Aquifer. Well, where to begin. For nearly 18 years, I served on the Solomon River Basin Advisory Committee (BAC), the last few years as chair.
In Kansas, and I suspect elsewhere, the Ogallala depletion problem is basically -- as un-politically correct as it may be to say it -- that 'the drunks are running the liquor store.'