Heat takes toll on Tonganoxie water supply

TONGANOXIE, Kan. - The impact of this drought goes beyond the farm. The demand for water is up 30 percent in Tonganoxie, Kan.

Jerad Cooper has been breeding horse for years. He knows all too well how important water is to a hot horse.

"They can dehydrate so fast, and they can loose so much body heat so quickly, within hours," Cooper said.

Cooper is among the hundreds of ranchers and farmers who have used the water tap in Tonganoxie to help supplement the rain that refuses to fall.   

City leaders say they had to buy 30 percent more water this year to help meet demand.

"So far, our water supply has been able to keep up," City Administrator Nathan McCommon said. "But we have noticed greater water supply usage from our neighbors."

For Jerad Cooper, the water in his 500 gallon tank helps to protect his prize-winning show horses and his livelihood. As a breeder, Cooper says mares won't perform in extreme heat and females will end their own  pregnancies.

"The heat can also cause them to abort their folds, so we can go an entire year and not have a fold crop because of this heat," Cooper said. "So it's very important to them cool."

Cooper buys water every other day to keep his horses comfortable and his business profitable.
 

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