UPDATE: Kansas releases first draft of water vision plan

By: Associated Press and KAKE.com Email
By: Associated Press and KAKE.com Email

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WICHITA, Kan. (AP) — Kansas has released its first draft of a 50-year "water vision" plan that aims to ensure a reliable supply for all citizens.

The Kansas Water Office posted the document Tuesday on its website. It plans a statewide tour starting July 7 to gather public input. The first session will take place in Wichita.

The plan includes an ambitious blend of conservation, reservoir management, technological advancements in irrigation and plant varieties and development of new sources.

Without action, it contends that in the next 50 years the Ogallala Aquifer will be 70 percent depleted and Kansas reservoirs will be 40 percent filled with sediment.

Among the suggestions is the transfer of water supplies between basins. The report also suggests farmers focus more on cotton and sorghum, which are less water-intensive crops than wheat.

Kansas wants to reduce municipal and statewide water consumption by 20 percent by 2065.

EARLIER STORY:
Kansas is poised to release the first draft of a 50-year "water vision" plan that aims to ensure a reliable supply for all citizens.

The Kansas Water Office plans to post the document Tuesday on its website, so that citizens may read it before officials begin a statewide tour next week to gather more public input.

Vision team leader Susan Metzger says in a news release that while recognizing one size does not fit all, a reliable water supply means more than quantity. The quality of the water resources is equally important. She says public information and education is critical to the plan's successful adoption.

Kansas in the past few years has seen the extremes of extended drought and cases of flooding.

A statewide tour is planned July 7-11.


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