Monday, December 10, 2018
"An investment in Knowledge pays the best Interest."

Ben Franklin's words still ring true today. So we pick out the most appropriate articles in current events and news regarding the Water Industry both nationally and in Kansas to filter the most pertinent information for you.

Weekly News - June 11, 2018

06/11/2018 - Weekly KRWA E-News

KRWA Staff Attend Training in Tulsa
Last week, KRWA employees Rita Clary, Doug Guenther, Doug Helmke, Ken Kopp, Charlie Schwindamann, Jon Steele and Monica Wurtz all attended NRWA’s in-service training held this year in Tulsa, Oklahoma. This annual event provides the training and education necessary for KRWA staff to remain the foremost experts in the water industry. “This is one of my favorite meetings,” said NRWA CEO Sam Wade, “because this meeting is about improving ourselves.” Training covers all aspects of public water supply, with an emphasis on rural water issues, including association management, marketing, accounting and technical assistance. Technical training focuses on improving the assistance provided to utilities through the drinking water, wastewater and source water protection programs. The event also was attended by more than 400 other rural water association staff from across the nation. KRWA’s Rita Clary presented a session on RD Apply to a full audience on Tuesday, which helped register several association employees from other state associations. Scott Barringer and Christie  McReynolds of USDA-RD were also in attendance. Additional information about the in-service will be included in the next issue of The Kansas Lifeline.


Public Meeting Scheduled to Discuss Hays and Russell Water Right Change Applications
The Kansas Department of Agriculture Division of Water Resources (DWR) has scheduled a public informational meeting on June 21, to discuss the applications submitted by the cities of Hays and Russell to change the use made of water, points of diversions, and places of use for the R9 Ranch water rights. The meeting will include presentations by the city of Hays, its consultants, and DWR staff. Discussion will center around understanding the cities’ change applications; the proposed terms and conditions being considered for the change applications’ contingent approval; and the cities’ technical work supporting their applications. There will be an opportunity to ask questions during the meeting. The presentations will be followed by an opportunity for attendees to make public comments related to the change application process. Submission of written comments will also be allowed through July 12. More information about the change applications, including all documents related to the applications and the form to submit written comments is available on the KDW/DWR website.


Hays Outdoor Watering Ban in Effect
By restricting daytime outdoor water use – including the watering of lawns, landscapes and gardens – unnecessary water loss due to wind and evaporation can be reduced, according to Hays Water Conservation Specialist Holly Dickman. The ban is in accordance with the Hays Intensive Groundwater Use Control Area (IGUCA) which was implemented by the KDA Division of Water Resources in in 1985, at the city's request, to help implement water conservation measures and provide a mechanism to address preventable water waste by privately-owned wells. The Kansas Water Appropriation Act now allows the chief engineer to delegate the authority to require domestic water users within a city to adopt and implement conservation plans and practices, without an IGUCA, so that a city can require compliance from private domestic well owners within their city limits, provided the city has conservation plans meeting state guidelines.


DWR Network Restored Following Fire at Hale Library
Kansas State University's Hale Library is a long way from getting back to normal after a fire extensively damaged the structure and its contents last month. Water damage knocked out much of the university information technology system housed there, which also affected most of the digital assets for the KDA’s Division of Water Resources. While DWR’s systems appeared to be back online early last week, other network operations may take much longer. Belfor, an international disaster recovery business, will restore the library, dean Lori Goetsch said in the letter to the university community. Hundreds of workers are on the Manhattan campus assisting in the cleanup: removing ceiling tiles and other debris, dehumidifying the building and recovering collections. "It is estimated that it will take more than 30 days to dry out the building," Goetsch said.


EPA Extends Deadline to Apply for a WIFIA Water Infrastructure Loan
The WIFIA program is currently soliciting letters of interest from prospective borrowers seeking loans from EPA. This selection round, EPA has up to $5.5 billion available for loans. As a reminder, the deadline to submit letters of interest for Water Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act (WIFIA) loans has been extended to July 31, 2018. WIFIA is a federal loan and guarantee program at EPA that aims to accelerate investment in the nation’s water infrastructure by providing long-term, low-cost supplemental loans for regionally and nationally significant projects. WIFIA can provide up to 49 percent of the financing for a project and a state SRF could provide additional financing for the remaining eligible project costs. According to EPA’s estimate of drinking water and wastewater needs, over $743 billion is needed over the next twenty years for water infrastructure improvements.


Kansas State University Preps for Irrigation Study
KSU researchers have tested the reliability of thermal infrared cameras in controlled, greenhouse settings and say they are now ready to take the sensors to the field to help farmers more efficiently irrigate their crops. Ajay Sharda, an assistant professor of biological and agricultural engineering, said he’s certain that the technology can help farmers conserve water while giving their crops the water they need across the entire field. “This will give us the ability to understand spatial (whole field) crop water needs,” Sharda said. “We will be able to more efficiently water the entire field, based on where water is needed at a given time.” This summer, Sharda and the research group will use unmanned aerial vehicles, or drones, to fly infrared and near-infrared cameras over about five acres of corn near Rossville. The cameras will tell them which areas are getting too much, the right amount, or not enough water. It may sound complicated, but the research is intended to develop practical applications that producers or consultants will be able to easily employ, Sharda said. The technology also should increase farmers’ year-to-year understanding of water needs on their fields.


Wichita Riverfest Has a Monstrous New Way to Stay Hydrated
Since filled water bottles are not allowed inside the event, Wichita Festivals purchased two "Water Monsters," 125-gallon coolers that provided ice-cold drinking water for last weekend's Riverfest attendees. "Water Monsters" are often used at festivals, marathons and other races, according to its website.


KRWA Training Calendar


June 12: Pratt
Wastewater Lagoon Operation and Maintenance 


June 12-13: Parsons
Advanced Electrical Schematic Reading and Troubleshooting


June 13: Pittsburg
Complying with Drinking Water Regulations


June 14: Iola
Complying with Drinking Water Regulations


June 14: Scott City
Wastewater Lagoon Operation and Maintenance


June 14-15: Hutchinson
Advanced Electrical Schematic Reading and Troubleshooting


Drought Monitor
Drought improvements appear to have stalled in Kansas, according to the latest U.S. Drought Monitor, released last Thursday. Only slight improvements were shown in those areas marked as experiencing exceptional or extreme drought along the southern state line in Barber and Harper counties, along with a small area in the southwest corner of Seward county. For the remainder of the state, recent record heat has taken a toll on soil moisture and drought conditions statewide. Kansas Water Office Director, Tracy Streeter, recently expressed concern in an interview with a Kansas City television station: "You know, we’ve looked at comparisons of where we are today versus where we were in 2011, we’re worse off right now going into this drought than we were in '11," Streeter said. "Streamflows are less, and you know, the forecast going forward is not good." "We are looking at how history played out in previous droughts and what we need to be doing to better position ourselves if this one persists," he said. Temperatures statewide are expected to remain above normal. The latest CPC 6–10-day outlook favors above normal temperatures but above normal precipitation statewide. The latest NWS WPC 7-Day Quantitative Precipitation Forecast (QPF) favors better precipitation chances in eastern Kansas.

Kansas detail from the U.S. Drought Monitor, released June 7, 2018.
Current U.S. Drought Monitor maps for:
Arkansas River Basin, High Plains Region, North-Central Region and Southern Plains Region