Wednesday, July 6, 2011
Governor's Water Summit
Center, Colby Community College, starting at 10:00 A.M. (Registration begins at 9:30 A.M.) The public is invited, but you need to pre-register with the KS Water Office by July 15 if you intend to eat lunch (sponsored) with the group. Call the KWO at 785-296-3185 or go to their web site (http://www.kwo.org/) to pre-register. The full agenda is also available from the website. The session will end at 3:30 P.M.
Discussion issues are expected to include: water conservation; perceptions of the state’s “use it or lose it” policy; how do water users generate more economy while reducing (conserving) water use; and making the IGUCA statutes more effective. After two framing talks, small discussion groups will be formed and will work until lunch. The Round Table discussion will then ensue, followed by a Summary and Action Planning session. This will be a good chance to tell the state (actually, the Governor of the state) what you think about groundwater issues near and dear to your heart. This district hopes that local control is one of your concerns and that you get a chance to express this.
The results of the discussions and ideas generated will be handed off to a new, ad hoc committee just forming under the Kansas Water Authority. They are to distill all the discussion and recommend a new roadmap for the High Plains Aquifer in Kansas - what new Legislation may be necessary; funding recommendations; etc., etc. This could be a good thing for the fully engaged, local GMDs, or...
And the jury is still out on whether or not this summit is a true "fact-finding" and "issue-recognition" session, or, if the Governor has an agenda he is really interested in and just has to hear the public comment before beginning. I'm not in either camp yet, but sure would like to believe the former - at least the majority of my discussions with organizers and those more closely involved seem to be convinced that way. Regardless, I'm confident that the really good ideas will survive either approach. We're appreciative of the Governor's interest in western Kansas water and the time and effort he has put into coming out for the day to talk about what's extremely important to us.