The spotlight will be on issues surrounding the state's critical water resource issues during Gov. Sam Brownback's Water Conference tomorrow (Oct. 24) and Friday at the Hilton Garden Inn & Conference Center in Manhattan.
On Thursday, the Governor will talk about a 50-year vision for Kansas water and meeting the state's needs and will issue an executive order to begin work immediately on securing water resources.
Topics for the two-day conference include meeting water needs now and in the future; working toward drought resiliency and water conservation; the value of water, the sedimentation of reservoirs and water's role in developing the Kansas agricultural economy.
On the agenda
Other speakers at the conference include: Charles Fishman, author of The Big Thirst and The Wal-Mart Effect and Pat Mulroy, who oversees the Las Vegas Valley Water District and Southern Nevada Water Authority. A legislative panel is planned for Thursday afternoon. Day two will build on the water policy discussions with technical presentation posters and talks. Dr. James Stack, Director of the Great Plains Diagnostic will present Feeding a Growing Population in a Resource Stressed World.
The agenda and a complete list of speakers and panelists for both days are on the Kansas Water Office website.
The Governor's Conference on the Future of Water in Kansas is co-sponsored by the Kansas Water Office and K-State /Kansas Water Research Institute. Sponsors for the event come from multiple diverse water interests. Major sponsors for the event include Black & Veatch, Burns & McDonnell and Great Lakes Dredge & Dock.
Multiple years of drought have put a growing strain on the High Plains Aquifer, especially the Ogallala sub-aquifer and caused heightened concern about the sustainability of irrigated agriculture in the western part of the state.
For an in-depth look at more of the concerns about water issues and possible solutions, follow the "Time for Action" series of water-related articles that began in the October Kansas Farmer.
That series will continue in the November and December magazines.