Water Office seeks public opinions
Without water, we all be up a creek.
A dry creek.
The Kansas Water Office is planning so that won happen.
Tonganoxie lies in Kansas-Lower Republican Basin, a 10,500-square-mile area of northeast Kansas that encompasses all or part of 24 counties. Currently, this area furnishes water to an estimated 1 million residents. By the year 2040, the population in this area is projected to increase to 1.5 million.
To learn more about how the state can continue to meet water needs in the future, area residents are invited to attend the meeting of the Kansas Lower-Republican Basin Advisory Committee at 10 a.m. Thursday at Tonganoxie City Hall.
Kent Weatherby, Tonganoxie, vice chair of the Kansas-Lower Republican Basin advisory committee, said there is support in state government for a water banking bill, shown by last year votes on Senate Bill 388.
task force developed a concept for the banking of water rights and water so that water could move efficiently and easily to the people who need it the most,Weatherby said. t passed both houses in the Legislature last year in vastly different formats and will come back for consideration this year.
Weatherby said public input is vital, and that until there a severe shortage of water, the public generally doesn pay much attention.
ith this water banking bill, I started working on that as a concept more than 10 years ago,Weatherby said. ut anything dealing with environmental issues, and especially with water, seems to take a long time. That because people don react until they see a problem.
And just because there isn a severe problem now doesn mean there never has been or that there never will be, he said.
For instance, Weatherby said there a tendency to think the Kansas River always will be a source of water. But, he said, Kansas historical accounts reveal that in the late 1700s, the Kansas River was dry.
here was not enough water to float a canoe,he said. o, obviously, our drought of record is not the drought of record.
Also to be discussed at the meeting are two questions posed in the House substitute for Senate Bill 287:
Will federal reservoirs that provide water for eastern Kansas cities eventually fill with silt and cease to be a reliable water source?
Do water conservation plans for cities, industries and farmer irrigators work?