Friday, July 19, 2013

Kansas Water Congress to Meet

About 5 years ago some Kansas water folks had the notion to establish the Kansas Water Congress.  It was patterned fairly closely after the Colorado Water Congress which has been an influential consortium of water interests in that state for decades.  The Colorado Congress primarily weighs in on Colorado water legislation, and their success rate is impressively high - regardless of whether they are supporting a bill or opposing it.  The Colorado group is well heeled and includes many water interests from the private and public sectors.  They also dabble in water policy from time to time.  

The Kansas Water Congress is still getting it's feet on the ground, but is intended to become just as influential in water issues - both legislation and policy.  They meet several times a year, and do much of the behind-the-scenes work via committee.

Anyway, the Kansas Water Congress will be meeting August 1 and 2 in Garden City, Kansas.  The host will be the Garden City Community College - a great venue for this event.  The agenda includes:
  •  A session on drought and funding from Kansas Water Office director Tracy Streeter;
  • An update on the SD-6 LEMA by myself;
  • LEMA updates from the other 4 Kansas GMDs; 
  • Wheatland and Sunflower Electrics' acquisition of water from irrigation water rights for their power needs; 
  • A presentation by Mark Rude of GMD 3 on their Missouri River Aqueduct Proposal; 
  • A presentation by Rex Buchanan (KGS) on State trends and directions RE:  hydraulic fracturing; 
  • Updates from the Divisions of Conservation and Water Resources of the Kansas Department of Ag; 
  • A tour of Wheatland Ranch to see the effects of transitioning irrigated pivots to grass; 
  • An Arkansas River report by Randy Hayzlett; 
  • A panel on irrigation perspectives over the past 30 years – where we are now and where we're headed;
  • A Question and Answer session; and 
  • A summary of 2013 water legislation and what’s likely to be on tap for 2014.  
This is a lot of interesting and useful information, so you should consider attending.  More information is available here.  

I've been a member of this group from the outset, which has been a positive thing because I get to tell people in all seriousness that I'm a member of Congress.  Nah, they never buy it, but I know it's true! 

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