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McPhersonSentinel - McPherson, KS
  • BPU to make land purchase for water

  • In the wake of diminishing aquifer levels, the McPherson Board of Public Utilities plans to purchase two irrigated pieces of farmland at a cost of $1.2 million each.
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  • In the wake of diminishing aquifer levels, the McPherson Board of Public Utilities plans to purchase two irrigated pieces of farmland at a cost of $1.2 million each.
    The region is served by the Equus Beds Aquifer, which is used to serve McPherson, Harvey, Reno, Sedgwick, Kingman and Rice Counties. Water from the aquifer can be accessed from irrigated farmland.
    Maier said the purchases are being made because of slowly receding water sources.
    “The depth of water in our area of the aquifer has been dropping a foot every year since 2000,” BPU General Manager Tim  Maier said. “That leads us to have concerns for future viability.”
    Maier said the purchases are part of BPU’s long-term water plan.
    “We have 12 wells that are used for municipal purposes,” Maier said, “and we already own five irrigated farm quarters like these. The five we own are in a water conservation plan and aren’t currently used.”
    Maier said there is no concern with the city’s water reserves at this time.
    “This is a long-term forecast,” Maier said. “The concern is 20, 30, 50 years down the road, not the short term.”
    The land is three miles west and two miles north of the city.
    On Monday the McPherson City Commission authorized Mayor Tom Brown to sign documents authorizing BPU to pursue purchase of one of the two pieces of land.
    The other purchase will be presented to the commission later after financing details are worked out. Both are being purchased from private sellers.
    Maier said the money will come from BPU’s long-range water fund.
    “These are funds set aside for projects like this,” Maier said. “We set money aside specifically for opportunities like this.”

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