This chapter has described various private projects and government actions that attempt to conserve groundwater in central USA. While technological advances continue to improve efficiencies in irrigation and other water uses, legal and economic problems can arise when the government imposes conservation on existing water users. In the USA, change has been slow but sure: as technology improves, the law has slowly increased its involvement in overall management of groundwater. Claims of compensation for 'taking' of property when the state reduces water right quantities are weaker when the state gradually puts conservation measures in place. But the threat or perceived inevitability of such regulation combined with the need for additional water can produce innovation in conserving existing supplies and in acquiring new ones, as demonstrated by Dodge City's reuse project and Wichita's recharge and recovery project.
Was this article helpful?