The Journal – Summer 2018 – Running out of Water Running out of Time


Dealing with the Ogallala Aquifer in western Kansas is a daunting leadership challenge.

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In western Kansas, painful losses feel increasingly imminent. There’s literal loss – the essentially irreversible depletion of Ogallala Aquifer groundwater after the large-scale pumping of it to irrigate crops in recent decades. But there are also the economic losses that might follow and hurt more and more farmers, their families and business and communities across the region in decades to come.

Approaches to dealing with that pain strongly diverge. The award-winning cover story in this edition looks at the problem and explores what’s at stake when it comes to addressing it. The article won the Burton W. Marvin News Enterprise Award from the William Allen White Foundation and the University of Kansas School of Journalism and Mass Communications. It also won a Sigma Delta Chi Award from the Society of Professional Journalists. 


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