Confronting The Continuing Depletion of the High Plains Aquifer in Western Kansas


Jay Garetson is a fourth-generation farmer from Haskell County in Southwest Kansas. Soil and water conservation combined with early adaptation of emerging technologies to agricultural uses are long-standing multi-generational hallmarks of the Garetson family’s Century Family Farm. Jay has a B.S. from Kansas State University in Agricultural Economics and his professional associations have included: Kansas Farm Bureau, Kansas Grain and Feed Association, Plains Cotton Cooperative Association and the SW Kansas Irrigation Association. In addition, Jay has served on the Kansas Water Authority and the Kansas State Board of Agriculture.

Stan Townsend is a sixth-generation farmer and irrigator from Weskan in Wallace County in Northwest Kansas. In 1988, Stan began farming on his own and he continues to raise corn, wheat, and pinto beans on ground in Sherman and Wallace counties, Kansas, and in Colorado. Stan was instrumental in beginning the 21st Century Bean Processing Facility located in Western Kansas. Stan served on the State Board of the Kansas Farm Bureau as President of the Feed and Grain Council. He has held positions on many local boards and is an active member of the Gideon's International. In 2012, at the request of Senator Pat Roberts, Stan testified in Washington D.C. before the Senate Committee on Agriculture.

Mark Rude is Executive Director, Southwest Groundwater Management District No. 3. He holds a B.S. in Geology from Wichita State University and has worked on water rights and water supply issues in Kansas for 27 years. Mark began in 1987 as an environmental scientist with the Kansas Division of Water Resources, and served as Water Commissioner for southwest Kansas from 1992 thru 2005. Mark is now in his 9th year as the Executive Director of the Southwest Kansas Groundwater Management District Number 3 headquartered in Garden City, where he works for a 15 member elected board of agribusiness and public water users to advise state and federal officials on water policy and water management programs, water conservation services, rules and regulations, LEMA's, IGUCA's, data collection and various studies. He currently also serves as President of the Kansas Groundwater Management District Association, Vice President of the national Groundwater Management District Association and a board member on the National Water Resources Association. Mark serves on the local School Board of USD 457 and on the board of the Finney County Drainage District No.2. Mark’s latest project is providing leadership in a sustainable water supply solution to the unreversed consumption of the Ogallala Aquifer: The Kansas Aqueduct Project.

Current and Upcoming Events

The 65th Annual KU Environmental Engineering Conference
The Kansas Union
Wednesday, April 22, 2015.

NovCare 2015: Novel Methods for Subsurface Characterization and Monitoring: From Theory to Practice
The Oread Hotel
May 19-21, 2015
More info

Past Events

Big 12 Universities Water Workshop
The Kansas Union
Tuesday, November 18th,
7 a.m. to 12:15 p.m.

Confronting The Continuing Depletion of the High Plains Aquifer in Western Kansas
The Oread
Monday, November 17th,
5 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.

59th Annual Midwest Groundwater Conference
Lawrence, KS Holiday Inn
October 1 and 2, 2014 
More Info

6th Annual Joint Conference of the Kansas Water Environment Federation (KWEA) 
Capitol Plaza Hotel in Topeka
August 26th, 27th and 28th, 2014
More info

Future of Water in Kansas
Kansas Room at the KU Union
Thursday, April 24, 2014
4-6 p.m.

Chi Zhang from Rutgers University​ seminar​
103 Lindley Hall
Friday, April 18th, 2014
11:00 am

The 64th Annual KU Environmental Engineering Conference
The Kansas Union ($30)
April 16, 2014
More information

Advances in Solute Transport from Electrical Geophysics
103 Lindley
Monday, April 14th, 2014
4:00 pm

Sedimentation Research Workshop
Capitol Plaza Hotel in Topeka ($25 fee)
Monday, April 14th, 2014
9:00 am to 4:10 pm

Geologic CO2 Sequestration in Low-Volume Basalt Reservoirs
Lindley 103
Thursday, April 10, 2014
4 p.m.

Characterizing the subglacial hydrology of Thwaites Glacier, West Antarctica Using Airborne Radar Sounding
Lindley 103
Wednesday, April 9, 2014
4 p.m.



If you are interested in joining the water research community or you have information that you would like to make available to the this community please contact either individual listed below:

Bob Rummer,
Director of Research Development,,
Tricia Bergman,
Director of Strategic Partnerships,,

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