LAWRENCE — At the Governor’s Conference on the Future of Water in Kansas last October, Gov. Sam Brownback issued a call to action for a vision that ensures Kansas water priorities are met, both now and in the future.
Since November, a Vision Team made up of representatives from the Kansas Water Office, Kansas Department of Agriculture and Kansas Water Authority has held more than 100 meetings statewide with stakeholders of all kinds. Feedback from these meetings will form the basis of a draft 50-Year Vision for Kansas Water, to be unveiled this summer and submitted in final form to the governor in November.
On Thursday, April 24, members of the Vision Team will be at the University of Kansas to meet with faculty, staff and students as well as area business leaders, local government officials and the public. The session is scheduled for 4:30 p.m.-6 p.m. in the Kansas Room at the Kansas Union. The event is free and open to the public.
“The Vision Team is seeking input from a variety of campus and community stakeholders,” said Tricia Bergman of KU Innovation and Collaboration. “Feedback from KU faculty, staff, students and the public will help inform a major statewide plan with far-reaching implications for agriculture, industry, research and the state’s quality of life.”
Brownie Wilson, research assistant at the Kansas Geological Survey, and Jerry deNoyelles, professor of ecology and evolutionary biology and senior scientist at the Kansas Biological Survey, will make brief invited presentations at the meeting. They will address the status of the Ogallala Aquifer and reservoirs in Kansas.
Tracy Streeter, director of the Kansas Water Office, and Jackie McClaskey, secretary of the Kansas Department of Agriculture, will outline the objectives of the Vision project and respond to questions and comments from the audience.
According to Streeter, the meeting at KU is an opportunity for all stakeholders to share their priorities, opinions and ideas with the Vision Team.
“The extended drought, and concerns about surface and sub-surface resources, has brought water issues to the forefront,” he said. “As the governor has proposed, Kansas must plan for the future now. We want all Kansans to be part of the state’s water solution.”
McClaskey said, “KU has long played an active role in water research and data analysis. The Vision Team wants community as well as campus information, ideas and strategies so we can make sure water is available to keep Kansas’ economy strong.”
Persons attending the meeting are asked to RSVP at KURES@KU.edu.
More information about the Governor’s Call to Action for a 50-Year Vision for Kansas Water is available at http://www.kwo.org/50_Year_Vision/50_Year_Vision.htm