Brownback hosts Governor's Conference on the Future of Water in Kansas
More than 500 attendees with diverse water interests joined Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback at the first Governor's Conference on the Future of Water in Kansas Oct. 30 and 31. The main conference topics included:
--New ideas to conserve and extend the Ogallala Aquifer;
--An evaluation of Kansas' water infrastructure;
--Opportunities to improve Kansas' water quality; and
--Meeting water demands for energy and agriculture.
"No matter what area of the state you live in, you have been and still are affected by the devastating drought we are facing. We are grateful for those before us who planned for our state's future water needs by establishing a system for reservoir operations and water management," Brownback said. "We are here to discuss our current situation and consider options to help meet our citizen's water needs 30, 40, 50 and even 100 years down the road. Our water is also a vital component of our economy."
Day one of the conference highlighted the latest policy and developments of water issues in Kansas. Speakers included Brownback; William Blomquist, Ph.D., author of Embracing Watershed Politics; and Lieutenant General Thomas P. Bostick, Commanding General of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. Sen. Pat Roberts also shared remarks. The afternoon session consisted of panel presentations with a town hall format.
"The drought conditions of the past two years have shown us our vulnerabilities both from a water quantity and quality standpoint," said Tracy Streeter, Kansas Water Office director. "The high level of interest in Kansas' water resources is indicative with the large attendance at this year's conference. We must continue our efforts to improve the quality of Kansas water and we need everyone who is here today as well as all of Kansas' citizens' help to place this vital resource as a top priority for our future."
Day two highlighted the latest research developments of water issues in Kansas, involving many researchers, geologists and water planners for the state. Speakers included Frank Ward, Ph.D., New Mexico State University, and Bill Golden, Ph.D., Kansas State University, who spoke on the economics and value of our water resources.
The Governor's Conference on the Future of Water in Kansas is co-sponsored by the Kansas Water Office and K-State/Kansas Water Resources Institute. Sponsors for the event come from multiple diverse water interests. Major sponsors for the event include Black & Veatch, Burns and McDonnell and Select Energy.