Saturday, October 22, 2011

Limited Supply Water Use Meetings Slated

ATTENTION KANSAS IRRIGATORS:  The Kansas Department of Agriculture Division of Water Resources (DWR) and K-State Research and Extension will be hosting four educational meetings for water right holders who have questions about water rights in drought and possible ways to manage next year’s water supply. If you have used any of the emergency water right tools this year, you should plan on attending one of these sessions.

The goal of these meetings will be to provide information to water right holders, who will likely be operating their irrigation systems next year with less water, about potential solutions available for them.  The information will cover all the newest gizmos developed in response to the 2011 drought - including emergency term permits and flex accounts.  In addition, Kansas State University (KSU) has some great tools for making decisions on how to optimize profit in in these conditions that they are going to share.  (click to see an earlier blog post on these tools)

In overview, a recent KDA press release says it this way:  "...the Kansas Department of Agriculture offered water right holders two alternatives to allow for additional pumping authority in 2011, the 2011 Drought Emergency Term Permit and Multi-Year Flex Account (MYFA) Permits.  The Emergency Term Permit allows water right holders to borrow from their 2012 water allocation in 2011.  The MYFA allows for water right allocations to be spread out across a 5-year period.  These options and how they work will be discussed in detail at the meetings. This discussion will include potential enhancements to MYFAs that the department is drafting for the consideration of the 2012 legislative session."

As a bonus, a brief overview of water right law in Kansas under the Kansas Water Appropriation Act will be covered, with emphasis on what needs to be understood as these limited water right irrigators get into next years pumping plans.  This segment basically lets you know why these tools were needed in the first place.

KSU Water Resources Engineer Norman Klocke and KSU Professor and Extension Agricultural Engineer Danny Rogers will also discuss topics affecting producers’ crop and irrigation decisions including expected yield from irrigation, year-to-year yield variability and risk, profitability potential of possible crop rotations for 2012 and potential yield outcomes for 2012.

The 4 scheduled meetings are:

November 15, 2011:  Larned, KS; 9 a.m. to 12 noon; Pawnee County Fairgrounds; J.A. Haas Building; 400 E. 18th St.

November 15, 2011:  Pratt, KS 2 to 5 p.m.; Pratt Area 4H Center; 81 Lake Road.

November 16, 2011:  Garden City, KS; 9 a.m. to 12 p.m.; Southwest Area Extension Office, 4500 E. Mary St.

November 16, 2011:  Hugoton, KS; 2 to 5 p.m.; Stevens County Memorial Hall, 200 E. 6th St.

All of the meetings are open to the public and there is no cost to attend and no need to RSVP.  These meetings have been concentrated in the drought area where the large majority of 2011 pumping was affected.  For additional information, contact the Kansas Department of Agriculture Division of Water Resources field offices in Stafford at 620-234-5311, Stockton at 785-425-6787 or Garden City at 620-276-2901.

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