Reducing aquifer decline through water use reductions utilizing conservation and education. Water Conservation Areas and Water Technology Farms are examples of conservation programs and tools that emphasize the need to prolong the aquifer's life while maintaining regional economies. Key incentives include water right flexibilities with water conservation practices.
All goals and solutions towards achieving the goals must be flexible. Voluntary, incentive, and market based solutions are preferred measures for achieving the goals. Ensure we do not diminish the economic return for all. Overarching goal is to maintain or grow the region's economy.
The Cimarron RAC has members representing industry and commerce, public water supply, agriculture, irrigation, conservation and environment, Groundwater Management Districts, and the general public. Click here for a full list of the Cimarron Regional Advisory Committee Membership.
The Cimarron RAC is located in the southwest corner of Kansas covering 7 counties, and overlays the Ogallala Aquifer and part of the High Plains Aquifer. RAC members meet throughout the year to discuss the vital needs of the region and what projects would most address those needs. To read more about previously developed goals and action plans, read the full Cimarron Action Plan. For recently approved goals and action by the Kansas Water Authority for inclusion within the draft State Water Plan for the Cimarron and other regional planning areas please select here.
This document is a tool to show record of activities and progress towards regional goals and The Vision. For the Cimarron Regional Planning Area it indicates a limited amount of utilization of available conservation programs. While Southwest Kansas has the largest saturated thickness in the state within the High Plains Aquifer the region has also experienced the largest aquifer declines, with an average annual decline of 2.28 feet and a cumulative decline of 22.81 feet from 2007-2016. To learn more about the resources and conservation efforts, visit the State of the Resource page and view the report.
The Cimarron RAC recently supported the installation of a groundwater monitoring well in the Cimarron River near the Colorado Stateline. The RAC believes that the monitoring well along with a stream gauge re-installed by the USGS will provide valuable insight and data to better understand the interaction between surface and groundwater along the Cimarron River, as well as monitor any effects well development in Colorado may have on the Cimarron Grasslands in Kansas.
The committee is active in education and outreach efforts, and has established a Facebook page as one of several methods to increase local awareness. They have decided to concentrate their efforts on building a relationship between Kansas producers and neighboring producers in Oklahoma. Committee member Jim Sipes is working to coordinate a meeting for producers from both states to try and foster positive interaction aimed at finding a collaborative approach to conserving the aquifer. The purpose of any such collaboration would be to focus on local from the ground up conservation efforts. Documenting conservation from producers at a regional and individual level has been a regular topic of concern for the committee. A producer survey was developed that would establish a baseline of current conservation practices being used, but no effective way has been found to distribute it.
Other topics the RAC has been interested in include Water Technology Farms, the Master Irrigators program out of Texas, alternative crops, and coordinating with the local community college’s agriculture program.