State leaders gathered virtually and renewed vows to protect and improve the most essential natural resource in Kansas.
Pandemic concerns pushed the ninth annual Governor’s Conference on the Future of Water in Kansas, behind computer screens
“Kansas needs to be prepared. We need to adapt our approach,” said Gov. Laura Kelly in a statement, referring to the effects of quickly changing extremes.
The range in just a couple of years has been huge, rom nearly 250 days of extreme flooding in 2019 followed by present drought conditions. Others pointed t continued sedimentation in reservoirs.
“The theme through this year’s conference was adaptability, innovation and resiliency,” said Connie Owen hair the Kansas Water Authority an advisory board working with and is part of, the Kansas Water Office.
Much information pertains to “daunting problems” with the supply and quality of water in Kansas, she said, both surface water and groundwater.
“The future of the water supply, especially during drought, requires that we take this issue seriously,” Kelly read from her statement.
Continued declines in the massive Ogallala Aquifer that has kept semi-arid western Kansas green for much of a century, is a continued concern to citizens and the economies of the state especially agriculture.
Kelly called for statewide efforts to conserve the resourceperhaps through more Local Enhanced Management Areasand increased technology.
“We’re still depleting a finite water resource faster than ature can recharge it,” the governor said. “Water affects every single area of our lives, and it must be protected.”
State officials drove home the importance of water on many levelsfrom agriculture, to manufacturing and recreation.
“Water-related challenges are far reaching,” said David Toland, Kansas ecretary of ommerce.
“Dwindling supply, water conservation and preservation and water quality, demands our attention,” he said.
The commerce department has sent nearly $25 million to communities for improvements. Toland praised others in the state who pursue water saving projects.
“Investing in water is good business,”…
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