Money available to improve water quality in NE Kansas
Water quality meetings planned for Jan. 20 to 21 will highlight funding and other assistance available to landowners and producers in three sub-basins of the Upper Wakarusa Watershed in Kansas, a Kansas State University specialist said.
About $75,000 has been allocated to share the costs of qualifying water quality improvement projects from January through March 2009, said Sherry Davis, Healthy Ecosystems-Healthy Communities Project Coordinator. Previous projects funded by the Upper Wakarusa Watershed Restoration and Protection Strategy (WRAPS) group have provided an average of $7,600 to qualifying participants.
The goal in offering a cost-sharing program to fund water quality projects is to encourage and assist agricultural producers and other landowners interested in adopting best management practices to protect their own water sources by reducing sediment, bacteria, and nutrient loading in local streams and in the upper reaches of the Wakarusa River, Davis said.
Why the Wakarusa Watershed? Clinton Lake, which is at the end of the watershed (where all the water goes), supplies drinking water to nine rural water districts and the city of Lawrence, Davis said.
The Kansas Department of Health and Environment has established the watershed as the No. 2 water-quality priority in the state, she said.
The goal for the informational meetings (Jan. 20 to 21 at the Berryton United Methodist Church, 7010 S.E. Berryton Road in Berryton, Kan.) is to provide an opportunity for interested landowners with a minimum of 40 acres to speak with program representatives and explore BMP project ideas to improve local water quality.
Both the Jan. 20 meeting, from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m., and Jan. 21 meeting, from 11 a.m. to 1:30 p.m., will include a forum for landowners to share concerns and ideas with the water quality team.
There is no charge to attend the informational sessions, but reservations are required to reserve a complimentary meal. For reservations or more information, e-mail Sherry Davis at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 785-313-5283. The deadline for meal reservations is Jan. 16, 2009.