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Aquifer Depletion Affects Entire State
01/06/2014

A former Kansas secretary of agriculture says water supply issues and the depletion of the Ogallala aquifer aren't just a western Kansas problem.

Former secretary Josh Svaty told environmentalists with the group Lawrence Ecology Teams United for Sustainability on Sunday that the agriculture economy in western Kansas flows toward the eastern part of state.

Roughly 90 percent of the water pumped out of the Ogallala is used for irrigation to grow corn, soybeans and milo, which is used to feed livestock. Svaty says the livestock industry also has a big presence around the Kansas City and Johnson County areas in eastern Kansas.

He says water levels in some parts of western Kansas have declined rapidly since large-scale irrigation began there in the 1970s.

© Associated Press
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