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At least three south-central Kansas irrigators have been charged with cheating on their water usage by running their meters backward last year.
Two of the irrigators were in the Equus Beds region, while the third was in the Big Bend Groundwater Management District.
An official with the Kansas Department of Agriculture's Division of Water Resources says people who are discovered reversing their meters receive a $1,000 civil penalty and a one-year suspension of their water rights. Additional fines can be levied for overpumping.
The Equus Beds aquifer lies under parts of Sedgwick, Harvey, Reno and McPherson counties. The Big Bend Groundwater Management District makes up part of western Reno County and runs to the Edwards, Pawnee and Kiowa county lines.