Water Technology Farms are three year pilot public-private partnerships where irrigation technology is demonstrated, related research is conducted on the field scale, and water conservation is supported. New irrigation technologies, management techniques, and cropping patterns can be tested on a larger scale on these farms. These public-private partnerships involve numerous agriculture vendors, agronomists, colleges and technical schools as well as other state agencies.The Water Tech Farm program has also provided an opportunity for agronomy research to be conducted by Kansas State Research and Extension.
The Water Technology Farm concept is a Phase II action item from the Ogallala-High Plains Aquifer section of the Long-Term Vision for the Future of Water Supply in Kansas. These farms have been valuable in expanding the conversation and education of producers and decision makers on water conservation in areas primarily overlying the depleting Ogallala Aquifer.
For producers interested in the Water Technology Farm program and the opportunity to apply for funding for the following year, please contact the Kansas Water Office by December 1. Funding is limited and farms currently enrolled in a conservation program, such as a Water Conservation Area (WCA), Local Enhanced Management Area (LEMA) or other documented program will be given priority. Access to land as well as annual crop and harvest data records will be required throughout the term of the Water Technology Farm agreement. This data will be shared in report each year.
For more information about becoming a Water Technology Farm please contact Armando Zarco at Armando.Zarco@kwo.ks.gov or 620-276-2901. Armando is located at the KDA-DWR office in Garden City, KS.
For the 2019 growing season, the Kansas Water Office is expanding the Water Technology Farm concept to additional areas of the state, specifically where Regional Advisory Committees have identified a need for water conservation and increased irrigation water use efficiency. We anticipate more than 100 public-private partnerships to support these farms.
The first annual Water Technology Farm Report, Water Technology Farms: 2018 Growing Season can be found in the report to the right.
For a quick data Fact Sheet for 2018 yields: click here.
Click here to view an interview with Tracy Streeter regarding Water Tech Farms.
The Water Technology Farms success is contributed to the public-private partnerships for cash and in-kind contributions from 22 agencies and partners. The Kansas Water Office provided $40,000 in FY2016, $50,000 in FY2017, and $45,000 in FY2018 from the State Water Plan Fund. The Kansas Legislature approved $75,000 in funding from the State Water Plan Fund for FY2019.