A Cowboy’s Faith: Near record water shortage – Osage County Online | Osage County News

A Cowboy’s Faith: Near record water shortage

A Cowboy's Faith: Click to read more from Frank J. Buchman.“Water supplies are the shortest in memories of more than seven decades.”

Land has been extremely parched several times in that period, but not severe as now.

Wells, springs, ponds, creeks, and many other water sources are waterless. Those who remember the “Dirty 30s,” and the intense drought conditions, claim now is approaching that dangerous level.

Several ponds went dry or had very low water levels a few years ago, so many owners had them rebuilt. Now, some of those ponds are short of water and more have gone completely dry.

Farm and ranch owners are planning to redo the previous pond cleaning jobs and doing considerable renovation of other ponds.

Shortness of rain has made wells with limited water supplies go dry and the best wells have inadequate water.

Those who promote “witching wells” to locate ground water are in demand but have little or no success. No use digging a new well if the water isn’t available.

Rural water districts have been developed to provide water when there are no other sources. Underground rural water district lines were established when water became in short supply.

Now, additional rural water lines are being considered. It is not an easy process as costly underground pipelines must be created with added charge for the water.

When water is piped to the necessary location, a pumping system must be put in place for use year around.

Livestock must have water, and it is the owner’s obligation to provide that regardless of expense.

Water can be hauled to livestock in portable tanks available commercially. Certain cattlemen have been hauling water daily to their herds and it is a major chore.

First, there must be a water source, either the farm headquarters’ water, a community well, or public water resources. That puts stress on supplies, plus there’s a cost for the water.

Driving from a water source to the livestock tank is often many miles with major time and travel expense. Running water into the hauling tank and then out into the stock tank also requires a lot of time.

Abundant rainfall is the best solution to drought. It will rain, but God is the only one with the power to turn it on.

Reminded of First Kings 17:14: “God sends rain on the land and ends this drought.”


Frank J. Buchman is a lifelong rancher from Alta Vista, a lifetime newspaper writer, syndicated national ag writer and a marketing consultant. He writes a weekly column to share A Cowboy’s Faith.


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