"Turning Off The Spigot In Western Kansas Farmland"

"Across the high plains, many farmers depend on underground stores of water, and they worry about wells going dry. A new scientific study of western Kansas lays out a predicted timeline for those fears to become reality. But it also shows an alternative path for farming in Kansas: The moment of reckoning can be delayed, and the impact softened, if farmers start conserving water now."

"David Steward, a water expert at Kansas State University, says that he and his colleagues started this research project with a specific kind of person in mind: "The family farmer who's trying to see into the future, and trying to pass on his or her land to their grandchildren."

Farmers in western Kansas have good reason to worry about the future. They know that that big irrigated fields of corn in this part of the country are taking water out of underground aquifers much faster than rain or snow can fill those natural reservoirs back up."

Dan Charles reports for NPR's Morning Edition August 27, 2013.

Source: NPR, 08/27/2013