Let’s hope for a water-saving breakthrough

The Texas Panhandle has become a sort of testing ground for water conservation.
I consider that to be exciting news.
We’re in the third year of a crippling drought. Dryland farmers – those who depend on rainfall exclusively to irrigate their crops – are having the most difficulty of all. They can’t grow crops, earn income and then reinvest that income into next year’s crop.
Those who are irrigating their land are having to dig more deeply into the earth for groundwater. The news out of the Panhandle, though, is that scientists are experimenting with irrigation methods that enable farmers to irrigate their crops with less groundwater.
Time will tell, of course, whether these methods work. But the North Plains Groundwater Conservation District, which is overseeing the project, believes the time is now to start finding methods to conserve water.
I tip my hat to the North Plains folks for thinking proactively. I also should note they aren’t alone. Others throughout the Panhandle region have talked openly about searching for ways to save our water.
Farmers have to rely a good bit on faith that the Almighty will deliver more moisture eventually to the region. The reality, though, is that sometimes it’s best to get ahead of the issue in the hope that the rain comes. That’s what North Plains district officials are seeking to do with these experimental irrigation methods.
Sucking the aquifer dry is not an option.

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