Water Technology Farms are three-year pilot public-private partnerships where irrigation technology is demonstrated, related research is conducted on the field scale, and water conservation is supported. New irrigation technologies, management techniques, and cropping patterns can be tested on a larger scale on these farms. These public-private partnerships involve numerous agriculture vendors, agronomists, colleges and technical schools as well as other state agencies.The Water Tech Farm program has also provided an opportunity for agronomy research to be conducted by Kansas State Research and Extension.
The Water Technology Farm concept is a Phase II action item from the Ogallala-High Plains Aquifer section of the Long-Term Vision for the Future of Water Supply in Kansas. These farms have been valuable in expanding the conversation and education of producers and decision makers on water conservation in areas primarily overlying the depleting Ogallala Aquifer.
This Story Map walks the viewer through the history of the well known High Plains Aquifer, along with describing the origins of the Water Technology Farm Program.
To view the Story Map: https://arcg.is/1y8eyj
For producers interested in the Water Technology Farm program participation, please contact the Kansas Water Office for additional information. Funding is limited and farms currently enrolled in a conservation program, such as a Water Conservation Area (WCA), Local Enhanced Management Area (LEMA) or other documented program, will be given priority. Access to land, as well as annual crop and harvest data records, will be required throughout the term of the Water Technology Farm agreement. Data collected on Water Technology Farms will be shared in an annual report each year.
For more information about the Water Technology Farm please contact Matt Unruh at Matt.Unruh@kwo.ks.gov.
Hear from producers about the Water Technology Farm Program:
For a complete list of 2019 Water Tech Farm partners click HERE
For the 2020 growing season, the Kansas Water Office Water Technology Farm program has 17 total farms enrolled to help expand the concept to additional areas of the state, specifically where Regional Advisory Committees have identified a need for water conservation and increased irrigation water use efficiency. For 2019, there were more than 100 sponsors and partners assisting with this endeavor and we anticipate that number to increase for the 2020 season.
Click here to view an interview with former KWO Director Tracy Streeter regarding Water Technology Farms.
The Kansas Water Office provided $40,000 in FY2016, $50,000 in FY2017, $45,000 in FY2018, $50,000 in FY2019, and $75,000 in 2020 from the State Water Plan Fund. The majority of the Water Technology Farms success is contributed to the public-private partnerships for cash and in-kind contributions from many, many agencies and partners.