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Dream Maker Podcast: Clay Scott – Kansas Aqueduct

Posted in: Agricultural Banking, The DFB Difference

Dream Maker Podcast: Clay Scott – Kansas Aqueduct

Clay Scott is a farmer in Stanton and Grant City, a member of the Ground Water Management District number three, and a member of the Kansas Aqueduct Coalition. Clay was one of our most recent guests on the Dream Maker Podcast. We met with Clay to discuss and bring a little awareness to the goals of the Kansas Aqueduct dreaCoalition. 

Kansas’ Water Problem

Without an abundant water supply, people can’t grow crops or produce enough food to survive. Because of this, irrigation development is a vital part of all civilization, including here in Kansas. Farms would not be thriving here in Southwest Kansas without the vital irrigation systems we have in place. 

However, as some people may know, the Kansas City Aquifer is depleting. If it stops providing water, all the farmers in Kansas will suffer. This aquifer is the key to our sustainability and economics, so we may have to use some out-of-the-box thinking. Since he’s been a member of Groundwater Management District Number Three for years and is a founding member of our Kansas Aqueduct Coalition, we thought Clay Scott would be just the person to have on to discuss this topic. 

The Search for a Solution

Clay told us a story about when we were in the middle of a drought in 2011 and 2012, and he noticed that the water of the Missouri River was high that day. According to Clay, he wondered why they weren’t tapping that high water and flood water to turn it into something useful. So he presented his idea to the CEO of the Southwest Groundwater Management District Number Three. Together, they did their research and found that they could make it work if they mirrored the process used in the Central Arizona project to get water from the Colorado River. They went through many ideas to find a reasonable yet cost-effective solution, and we discuss a few of them in this episode of the Dream Maker Podcast. 

Clay also observed that there's a similar issue in the Sacramento Delta regarding getting water from North California to South California. As a result, they were going to build two tunnels under the Sacramento Delta due to some environmental issues that prevented them from using other solutions. They found that they couldn’t get the water in the right place at the right time. Essentially, the idea was that they would use these tunnels to siphon water and transport it underground so that they could pump it more efficiently. However, they found that to do this for Kansas would cost around $19 billion. 

After a while, Clay and the other coalition members picked out a few spots to place multiple harvest stations along the river. He elaborated that they didn’t want to take a bunch of water from just one place in the river, as that could cause more issues, but instead thought it would be a better idea to take smaller amounts of water from multiple locations. 

Follow the Dream Maker Podcast

On this episode of Dream Maker, Clay Scott and Chris Floyd discussed these vital topics in more detail, as well as other potential solutions. They dived even deeper into what Clay and the other members of the Kansas Aqueduct Coalition currently believe would be the best solution to get enough water to Southwest Kansas. Their efforts are crucial to keep our farms sustainable and ensure they have enough water to thrive. 

>> Listen to this episodeto learn more.

>> Listen to other episodes on theDream Maker Podcast.

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