A western Kansas utility's push to build a new coal-fired power plant could touch off a battle over water.
Hays-based Sunflower Electric Power Corp. estimates that its new
plant in Finney County in southwest Kansas will consume 3.9 billion
gallons of water a year.
Most of the electricity generated by Sunflower's new plant
initially would flow to a partner utility in Colorado. That's
leading critics to suggest Kansas will be exporting water.
Farmers who previously held the rights to the water Sunflower
wants to use would have been allowed to consume significantly more
Eventually, the project will need a water-use permit from the
Kansas Department of Agriculture.