Innovation, conservation, dredging in the mix for Kansas' water future

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Posted August 25, 2015

Innovation, dredging and conservation all are in the cards as Kansas tries to prepare for the drought that its climate history suggests will come again.

Most of Kansas endured economically painful drought in 2012 and 2013, leading farmers to downsize their livestock herds and cope with diminished yields when soil and ponds dried out. The dry spell has yet to abate in the western-most counties, according to the Kansas Water Office.

Tracy Streeter, director of the Kansas Water Office, said the state’s 14 water regions are finalizing their goals as part of a 50-year vision for water policy in Kansas. Then they will move to implementing those goals, which mostly have to do with conserving water in western Kansas and dredging reservoirs to allow for more storage capacity in the area along the Kansas River. Some also are exploring alternative sources of water and ways to better manage it, he said.