Wednesday, December 12, 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 - Dec. 3, 2018

12/03/2018 - Weekly KRWA E-News

The Great Kansas Aqueduct: Solution or Folly from a Bygone Era?
Michael Warady of Water Finance & Management contemplates the costs and opportunities related to the construction of a 360-mile concrete-lined aqueduct beginning at the Missouri River in the northeast Kansas – traveling nearly three-quarters of the way across the state – to transport approximately 3.4 million acre-feet annually to parched western Kansas, terminating near Utica. Photo: Proposed route of the Great Kansas Aquiduct.As one sits and considers the need for the Great Kansas Aqueduct, he says, three questions come to mind: 1) does the Great Kansas Aqueduct solve a problem? Yes – it would increase water supplies for Western Kansas. 2) would it solve the problem for generations? Yes – it would likely be operational for decades. And 3) would it be cost-effective? Unfortunately, not. While the volume of water delivered to Western Kansas may increase, very few people would actually be able to afford it. In fact, he says, the $18 billion estimated to build the Great Kansas Aqueduct does not even include the legal, economic, and ethical costs inherent to initiating eminent domain and forcibly removing people in the way of the canal off of their land. It’s time for Kansas to think bigger – to stop worrying about how much water was available five, 10, 50 years ago – and understand that this is the new normal. [source

 

Nebraska Water Managers Talk Platte, Republican River Plans
Nebraska water management officials gave updates regarding projects and interstate water issues, including several in the Platte and Republican basins, at a joint convention of the Nebraska State Irrigation and Nebraska Water Resources associations, Nov. 18-20. To meet Nebraska’s legal obligation to augment the flow of the Republican River into Kansas, the Central Nebraska Public Power and Irrigation District has proposed creating a connection in Nebraska between the Platte River Basin and the Republican River Basin. The State of Kansas has objected the proposal and urged Kansans to submit written comments, because invasive Asian Carp and White Perch in the Platte River could enter the Republican River (along with other nuisance species) if the two rivers are connected. Nebraska Department of Natural Resources Assistant Director Jesse Bradley indicated during the convention that 100 permit objections were filed with Nebraska DNR, many from Kansans concerned about the possible transfer of invasive plants and/or fish from the Platte Basin. Formal objections were also received from Nebraska entities such as the North Platte Natural Resources District (NPNRD), Nebraska Public Power District (NPPD), Cozad Ditch Company Loup River Public Power District, Central Platte Natural Resources District (CPNRD), Lower Loup Natural Resources District (LLNRD), and Audubon Nebraska. Based on those objections a public hearing will be required at a future date. [source]

 

KC Resident Sues Water Department
A Kansas City resident is suing the city water department over what he claims is negligence in employee training and failure to correctly install water meters — among other issues arising from a whopping $711.57 monthly water bill. The lawsuit requests $15,000 in compensatory damages and $50,000 in punitive damages. His case, now in U.S. District Court for the Western District of Missouri, has been referred to mediation. [source

 

KGS Links Wastewater Disposal and Distant Earthquakes
New research by the Kansas Geological Survey at the University of Kansas explains how and why earthquake activity picked up farther afield after wastewater injection was scaled back and seismicity initially subsided closer to the injection point. [source

 

Federal and State Partners Providing $1.4 Million in Assistance
Partners including USDA/NRCS and KDA's Division of Conservation have formed a Regional Conservation Partnership Program (RCPP) to offer financial assistance to help landowners institute water quality improvement conservation practices in Cherokee, Labette, and Neosho Counties. Funding will go toward water quality improvement practices such as terraces, grassed waterways, nutrient management, filter strips, grass plantings, and others, with the goal of improving water quality impairments in the middle and lower Neosho River watersheds. [source

 

Louisiana Town is like Thousands that are Vulnerable to Contaminated Water, With No Fix in Sight
The EPA says the nation needs $743 billion to fix America's water system. Often times towns are stuck with aging infrastructure that they can't fix, leaving few options for them to deal with complaints about dirty or contaminated water. [source

 

Manhattan Water Tower Sustains Local Pride
Mel Borst's photo of Manhattan's Landmark water tower in 2016.The Landmark Water Tower will celebrate its 100th anniversary in 2022, and though its service for water storage ended long ago, its unique design and community significance earned it a place on state and national registers of historic places. Visible over the tree canopy that now covers most of Manhattan, the conical-roofed lookout point recalls an earlier time when residents could climb it for an unimpeded view of the surrounding Flint Hills. Visits to Sunset Cemetery and the water tower were reinforced by public picnic space provided near the cemetery sexton’s home on Leavenworth and Sunset Avenues. The city’s resolve to recognize the tower as an historic structure was reinforced in 2017 by the designation of its grounds as a “pocket park” — usually defined as “a small park of a few house lots or smaller that in an urban area.” That year, the American Legion and Landmark Tower Neighborhood Association began an annual Memorial Day celebration with patriotic bunting ornamenting the tower and public cemetery gates. As a landmark, the tower continues to exemplify the community’s public pride of place and appreciation for Manhattan’s historic structures. [source]

 

KRWA Training Calendar

 

Dec. 4: Yates Center
Meter Technologies and Testing

 

Dec. 5: Salina
Meter Technologies and Testing

 

Dec. 11: Lawrence
Wastewater Utility Workshop -- Operations & Management

 

Dec. 12: Chanute
Wastewater Utility Workshop -- Operations & Management

 

December 11-14: Topeka
Cross Connection - Backflow Prevention
 

Drought Monitor
Last week’s blizzard, which left up to 8 inches of snow in parts of Kansas, was called an “unprecedented event” by meteorologist Brad Ketcham with the National Weather Service in Wichita. According to the U.S. Drought Monitor, however, the precipitation received throught Tuesday was not enough to affect the lingering dryness and drought conditions in northeast Kansas. The roughly six inches of snow received in Topeka, for instance, had a water equivalence of only 0.31 inches. Additional rainfall was received in northeast over the weekend from a strong low-pressure system and will likely be evident on next week's map. Moreover, precipitation deficits grew over the last 30 days across a large portion of Kansas, especially in Chautauqua, Cowley and Sumner counties. Drought in northeast Oklahoma appears to be expanding and intensifying into southeast Kansas, where abnormally dry conditions have been drawn on the latest map in extreme southern portions of Cherokee, Labette and Montgomery counties. The early blizzard and what appears to have been one of the snowiest Novembers on record for parts of Kansas, might make us wonder what that means for the remainder of our winter season. Meteorologist Joe Lauria has already looked at the statistics. The answer, he says, is that there really isn’t an overwhelming trend one way or the other. Of the nine historical winters with above average snowfalls in the Kansas City area - through November - there were five winters that had racked up an above average snowfall for the remainder of the winter and four had below normal snowfall. Mary Knapp, assistant state climatologist at KSU recently echoed that prediction based on what appears to be weak El Niño conditions developing the the Pacific Ocean and the latest CPC outlook released Nov. 15. Knapp stated that for the Central Plains, there is a slight tilt towards warmer-than-normal temperatures, but no strong signal toward above or below normal precipitation this winter. In the short term, the NOAA/WPC 7-day Quantitative Precipitation Forecast  appears to favor the best chances for significant precipitation across southern counties as a strong storm system moves toward Texas toward the end of the week. It may be a good idea to pay attention to the track of that storm system, as it has the potential to cause major winter impacts across Oklahoma, Texas and possibly southern Kansas late this week. 

Kansas detail from the U.S. Drought Monitor, released Nov. 29, 2018.

Current U.S. Drought Monitor maps for:
Arkansas River Basin, High Plains Region, North-Central Region and Southern Plains Region