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Irrigators running dry in drought

This 2011 photo shows an irrigation sprinkler on milo stubble in Barton County.

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When the clouds opened and it started to rain Friday, it was an answer to many prayers. But that brief downpour dropped less than half an inch of moisture on area lands, which is still about 10 inches under the average rainfall for this time of year.
Because of the drought, some irrigators have struggled since 2011 to stay within the water rights allocated to them – typically 10-18 inches per acre per year. This year the Legislature attempted to address the issue by creating a multi-year flex plan that allows farmers to exceed the limit one year by reducing water ...


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