Friday, August 30, 2013
How do you mount an effective PR campaign across state lines when a scarce resource is at stake? The resource is water and the target audience is farmers across the Great Plains. The farm community is pumping down the Great Plains Aquifer which, when it runs dry, will turn millions of acres back to a desert. Coordinating pumping and water rights across thousands of farmers is more than a PR task. It needs to establish a class of water rights and effective enforcement of them. The hard part, however, is convincing the ag community that such restrictions are essential for the long-term health of the land. Farmers don't get paid unless they grow crops. They can't grow crops without water. Putting restrictions on them means some will leave the business, which isn't good for the country. Citizens depend on food coming from the Plains. There needs to be change in attitude about management of the underground water supply. Today, farmers pump their wells down and deepen them or abandon crops that depend on irrigation. If the Great Plains dry because of global warming, growing without irrigation might become difficult, if not impossible. The time to act is now, but how do you persuade the ag community that change is urgent?