Friday, August 5, 2011

U.S. Water News - Bet You Didn't Know This

Some of you who will happen upon this post may remember the premier Water Publication called "U.S. Water News".  It was a monthly newspaper owned and published by Kansan Thomas Bell, from Halstead, KS.  He began the paper in 1984 and it ran until mid-2009 - with the last edition I can put my hands on being July, 2009.  The picture (click to enlarge) shown here happens to be the first edition - Vol. 1, No. 1.  Over the years the paper covered thousands of water stories from around the world.

If the subscription listing for the paper were available chronologically, you'd find the very first newspaper subscriber to be the Northwest Kansas Groundwater Management District No. 4 (this is us).  I know this to be true because as a result of my comments and advice as he was designing the paper, Tom promised that he would allow me to be the paper's first subscriber.  And I took him up on it.

What this all means is the paper hanging on my office wall - pictured above - is the very first paper of the very first edition - in the entire world.  At least that's the way I see it.  Oh, in case you can't read the hand-written note, it says:  "To Wayne, our first subscriber (and best subscriber) ever!  From your friend  Tom Bell".  This is obviously the way Tom sees it, too.

Incidentally, Tom was managing the Equus Beds Groundwater Management District No. 2 in 1984 when he opted for a career change as a water newspaper owner/publisher.  It was a good run of 25 years plus, and while I don't have a copy of every edition, I'm betting I have 97% of them.  Now you know a bit more about America's water history than you did before arriving.  Thanks for the read.

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