Good fences make good neighbors

Recent progress in water rights at Quivira National Wildlife Refuge demonstrate the value of working together.



August 6, 2020 - 10:20 AM

There’s an adage that good fences make good neighbors.

When U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service filed a water impairment notice with the Kansas Department of Agriculture regarding water rights at Quivira National Wildlife Refuge in 2013, it posed a grave threat to the region. The fences between local communities and the federal government weren’t looking so good in central Kansas.

If an agreement is not met, farmers and ranchers in the Big Bend Groundwater Management District 5 would have had to stop irrigating their crops, and the area would have seen a major decrease in population, forcing businesses to close and farmers to give up their land. The citizens of Barton, Edwards, Kiowa, Pawnee, Pratt, Reno and Rice counties, which the district covers, would ultimately pay the price.

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