Grand Challenges: Water

Current irrigation trends could deplete 69 percent of the groundwater in the Ogallala Aquifer within 50 years. The economic impact of this is significant. The top eight Kansas counties for agricultural production are located in western Kansas, overlaying the Ogallala Aquifer. Those counties contribute about one-third of total agricultural revenue for the entire state of Kansas.

What we are doing

Breeding new drought-tolerant varieties of wheat, grain sorghum (milo), and other crops that can be used for human and pet food, livestock feed, and fuel.

Developing more efficient irrigation and water-monitoring systems for farm and home use.

Decreasing municipal water costs by working with landowners to reduce sedimentation into reservoirs and improve surface water quality.

Improving livestock genetics to help make production more efficient, reducing water needed to feed livestock.

Partnering with multiple stakeholders to develop a 50-year water policy.

Did You Know?


Why K-State Research and Extension can help find solutions for the challenges facing Kansans


We have

  • a statewide network to share unbiased information,

  • expertise on topics important to Kansas, and

  • established local, state, regional, national, and international partnerships.