Water Concerns Surge for Area Farmers & Ranchers

State Representative John Smithee
State Representative John Smithee

Concerns over water rights are heating up for area farmers and ranchers as conservation efforts take center stage.

The current strain on our water supply shows no signs of getting better. Because Lake Meredith is depleting at a rapid rate, the Ogallala aquifer may be our only water source as soon as next year.

Concerns were brought to a head today at a groundwater seminar in Borger.

State Representative John Smithee says district management is the biggest issue facing our region's water supply.

"We want to make sure district managers that share the same aquifer work together and are on the same page."

Landowners say they are concerned tighter restrictions will prevent them from getting the water they need to farm and ranch.

Farmer Daniel Krienke says,"Our fear is that if we lose control that someone from Austin will mandate something in the name of conservation that drives us out of business."

Smithee says lawmakers are working to solve the problems between managers and landowners.

They are eager and want to work towards a reasonable solution."

Removing water from brackish,or impure aquifers is another option he says will be addressed.

Lawmakers are currently working with water district managers to clear up where water is sent and how it can be regulated. There are no immediate plans for water pipelines.