To Secretary Joshua Svaty:
In re: Proposed Sunflower Electric Coal Plant
I am writing this letter to you as Secretary of Agriculture since you have the authority to grant or deny permits to use water. Sunflower Electric is requesting water use permits for its new proposed coal-fired plant here in western Kansas. I am requesting that you deny such permits.
The reason I am making such a request is that we have a serious problem with the depletion of groundwater here in western Kansas and action is needed to preserve what water resources we have left. In 1950, at my farmstead it was 50 feet to water. Last year it was 137 feet to water. That water well hits shale at 170 feet, so I only have 33 feet of water left for the future. I stopped using irrigation water from my three irrigation wells on my farm here in Scott County in about 1992.
There are other people who live in Scott County who have told me that they only have 10 to 13 feet of water left in their household wells. I know of a family whose farmhouse well went dry and they searched for a mile around their home and could not find water for a new well. They ended up having to move and sell their farmstead. There are families here who have had to go several miles from their home to find water and drill a well and pump that water back to their home since we do not have rural water districts.
Our western Kansas legislators have continued to advocate for Sunflower's proposed coal-fired plant. It seems that the only thing they want to deny is abortions. But what in fact they are doing is aborting future generations from living on the great High Plains of western Kansas by allowing the water to be depleted from the aquifer.
You have the opportunity to stand up for those of us here now and for future generations in rural western Kansas who need to have each precious drop of water conserved and preserved for the future of life in western Kansas.
ROBERT V. MULCH,