Thursday, October 3, 2013

The Power of Local

My fellow blogger (now retired) Wayne Bossert appears to have created quite a sensation with the Local Enhanced Management Area (LEMA) concept he implemented in the Northwest Kansas Groundwater Management District # 4.  The revolution underway in western Kansas that is attempting to preserve irrigated agriculture in the face of drought, aquifer depletion, and rising crop prices is a bold experiment in local resource management that has recently been highlighted on NPR (two times) and more recently in the Economist.  I'm a big fan of locally developed solutions to resource management problems so I really applaud the efforts that have been made by farmers and water managers in that area.  Their work would surely make Elinor Ostrom proud.  Although some of the problems with the High Plains aquifer are significantly larger than what a single Management District can successfully grapple with I think this model could be employed elsewhere and if implemented sufficiently broadly could actually make a difference for the broader future of farming on the high plains.