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NewsroomEBH Engineering Attends Kansas Water Office Strategic Planning Session

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On Tuesday June 25, 2024, Jerry Starkey and Matt Cramer, EBH Engineering, attended the Kansas Water Authority public input meeting in Wichita, Kansas. Meetings are being held across the State to give attendees the opportunity to learn more about Kansas Water Plan implementation plan.

Opening statements were given by Julie Lorenz, former Kansas Department of Transportation secretary.

Earlier this year, Kansas Gov. Laura Kelly gave the Kansas Water Authority the approval to start developing a strategic plan, including funding, based on five guiding principles of the Kansas Water Plan. Initially, the request included recommendations for a large-scale, long-term investment framework before the 2025 legislative session. These recommendations include policy changes, ways to improve state capacity and water management, establishing measurable goals and timelines, and receiving input from various state and local stakeholders.

Organizers said input from various state and local stakeholders is vital to the process. The meeting included facilitated discussion of goals and priorities for three of the Guiding Principles of the Kansas Water Plan related to aquifer, reservoirs and water quality issues.

In Kansas, there’s an interdependency across segments when it comes to water use. Lorenz said municipal water use accounts for 11% of usage across the state. Stock water is at 1% and irrigation is 83%, while 3% is industrial use, 1% is recreation and 1% is miscellaneous.

During the meeting three primary goals were discussed, mostly focusing on three of the biggest issues—aquifers, reservoirs and water quality. When it comes to the High Plains Aquifer, the goal is to halt the decline of the Ogallala Aquifer, restore and maintain natural stream flow and maximize the economic output of all water users.

Breakout groups were established to allow input for strategic planning. The group that EBH Engineering attended had a diverse background of citizens from all areas and with diverse backgrounds. Some of those attendees were producers, engineers, farmers, operators, legislatures, educators, concerned citizens and persons that held various government and state level positions. Our assignment was to advise where the State should focus on funding to be applied in the three areas of aquifer, reservoir and water quality investments.

Education and outreach were a topic of discussion. The breakout groups were advised to reach out to their local Department of Water Resources Office for education and outreach opportunities. EBH Engineering is also a resource for water design and can direct you to the correct person in your local community.

 

Scott, K. (2024, June 28). Public. High Plains Journal. https://hpj.com/2024/06/28/public-input-meetings-held-for-implementation-of-kansas-water-plan/

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