Basin Advisory Committees focus on invasive species control
Methods and benefits of controlling salt cedar and Russian olive growing in the river bed and riparian areas of the Cimarron and Upper Arkansas rivers will be the lead topics of a joint meeting of the Cimarron and Upper Arkansas Basin Advisory Committees. The committees will meet at 1 p.m., Sept. 30 at the Garden City Administration Building, 301 North 8th Street, Garden City.
The trees are known for their competitiveness, persistence, and water usage. They and other deep-rooted plants obtain a significant portion of their water needs from the saturated subsurface or ground water. Dr. Jim Butler of the Kansas Geological Survey will present findings on water savings from removal of salt cedar.
After the discussion of various aspects of the control of these invasive species, the basin advisory committees will address where their control fits in with policy on water conservation and riparian area restoration.
While most of the Upper Arkansas and Cimarron basins depend on groundwater for their water supplies, the state's reservoirs and multipurpose small lakes play a vital role in water supplies elsewhere in Kansas. As a complement to the Kansas Water Authority's Reservoir Sustainability Initiative, a Reservoir Roadmap is being developed at the request of the Kansas House of Representatives Vision 2020 Committee. Included in the Roadmap are several proposed statutory changes that will help sustain the reservoirs and insure adequate future water supply. The draft contents of the statutory changes are included in Volume II of the Reservoir Roadmap available on the Kansas Water Office webpage at www.kwo.org/ReservoirRoadmap.htm.
The two southwestern basins, along with other BACs in the state, will be co-sponsors of the Climate and Water forums to be held Dec. 9 in Wichita and Dec. 10 in Hays. The meetings are designed to increase awareness of the possible effects of a changing climate on water resources and the state's economy. Co-sponsors are the Kansas Water Office and the Kansas Center for Agricultural Resources and the Environment (KCARE). The public is encouraged to participate.
The Kansas Water Office is the water planning, policy, and coordination agency for the State of Kansas. It prepares a state plan of water resources development, management and conservation, reviews all water laws, and makes recommendations to the Governor and Legislature for new or amendatory legislation. The Office administers the Kansas Water Plan Storage Act, the Kansas Weather Modification Act, and the Water Assurance Act. It also reviews the plans of any state or local agency for the management of the water and related land resources of the state.
For additional information about the Sept. 30 meeting or an electronic registration form for the Climate and Water Forum, please refer to the Kansas Water Office website www.kwo.org or call 785-296-3185.