Water and the Kansas economy are directly linked. It is a finite resource. Without further planning and action we will not be able to meet our state’s growing needs.
Kansas is blessed with significant water resources, both ground and surface water. But the drought has taught us we have to work together to ensure a water supply for our citizens and for the growth priorities for our great state.
Our state’s future water supply will depend on the weather, our river systems, our reservoirs, and our aquifers.
We have several important aquifers in Kansas that are critical for our water supply. New strategies need to be implemented to improve the sustainability and water quality of the High Plains, Ozark, and Dakota Aquifers. The Ogallala Aquifer is the main source of water in the western third of Kansas. Without Ogallala water Kansas’ agriculture, manufacturing, and all related businesses cannot be sustained, threatening the survival of our communities.
Another challenge we face is that our reservoirs are filling with sediment.
- In the next 50 years if we take no action our water supply reservoirs statewide will be 40% filled with sediment, a problem some of our reservoirs are already facing.
- Five of the seven major river basins that support municipal and industrial use will not meet the demands of another intense drought.
Keys for a Successful 50 year Vision for Kansas:
- A strong, long-term water Vision for Kansas must be statewide while recognizing that one size does not fit all.
- A reliable water supply is bigger than a question of quantity. The quality of our water resources is equally important.
- Public information and education is critical to the successful adoption of the Vision.
- Our water policies must be oriented toward conservation and extension of the usable life expectancy of our resources.
Protecting Kansas Water:
- We will fight the federal government to maintain our state’s rights over water in Kansas, not yielding to the EPA.
- We will protect Kansans’ water supply from being taken by other states.
We will implement the 50 year Vision for Kansas Water being developed by the Kansas Water Office, Department of Agriculture, Water Management Districts, local units of government, and our citizens.