Welcome to Water + Energy Progress

Water + Energy Progress Awards identify and spotlight innovations in energy efficiency and water conservation on Kansas farms and ranches.


Learn more about organizations and practices focusing on water and energy in agriculture. 


USDA Rural Utilities Service Administrator, John Padalino, shares his thoughts on water and energy issues in rural communities.

Mark Eitel: Wise use of Water, Soil, & Wind

Southwest Kansas has experienced severe drought and declining groundwater supplies yet Mark Eitel has maintained profitability with 35% less water. Converting acreage to highly efficient, low-pressure Subsurface Drip Irrigation systems has saved water, reduced chemical costs, and energy expenses on Eitel’s farm outside of Dighton. No-till farming practices have increased the health of the soil on his 1700 acres and improved water retention and holding capacity, reduced runoff and also saved fuel costs.

Eitel’s practices focus on efficient water use, soil health, and profitability. Mark explains,

I am trying to save the water that is underneath me. If I pump less, the water will be there a lot longer. The whole idea is to keep my water as long as I possibly can. The water level going up is a good indication that what I am doing is working.

Wendell Nicholas & Eldon Schmidt

Pioneers in the Field: Subsurface Drip Irrigation

March 2014

Richard Wenstrom

Pioneers in the field: Irrigation Scheduling

February 2014

Darrin Unruh

Collaborative Conservation

January 2014