Thursday, December 12, 2019
     
"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. 2, 2019

12/02/2019 - Weekly KRWA E-News

Public Input Sought for Kansas River Basin Watershed Study
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Kansas Water Office, and Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism are in the early stages of a five-year watershed study to develop a long-term plan for the basin’s water resources and infrastructure. The study is an opportunity to review existing and possible future conditions in the basin, lake and river basin management, and to investigate ways to extend the useful life of the 18 federal reservoirs in the basin by increasing resiliency and maintaining capacity. Study topics include drought and water supply, sediment management and reservoir sustainability, ecosystem restoration and management, flood risk management and recreation. The group expects to finalize the watershed report in the fall of 2023. [source

 

Baldwin City Makes New Water Purchase Agreement with Lawrence
Baldwin City has made a new agreement to purchase water from the City of Lawrence and will soon stop buying raw Clinton Lake water directly from the state. The new contract sets the Baldwin City wholesale purchase price for treated water at $3.81 per 1,000 gallons starting Jan. 1, 2020. That is a 15-cent increase from what Baldwin City currently pays Lawrence for treating the Clinton water that it buys from the state. The Baldwin City Council approved the agreement on Nov. 19. [source

 

Kansas Reservoirs Are Filling Up With Dirt, And It Won't Be Easy To Clean Up
Aerial imagery showing that sedimentation has greatly reduced the storage capacity at Tuttle Creek Reservoir.Sediment collecting in reservoirs is a part of the natural lifespan of a water system. But in several Kansas reservoirs, it’s already drastically reduced their originally designed capacity and lifespan — more than 40% in the Kanapolis, Tuttle Creek, John Redmond and Toronto reservoirs. Researchers are studying the best way to mitigate the problem. While reducing sediment entering the reservoir in the first place is a start, at some point, sediment will have to be removed. Rather than use traditional dredging, which could cost an estimated $39 million a year at Tuttle Creek, engineers are looking at a new method called water injection dredging. It shoots high-pressure jets of water into the sediment, which stirs the sediment up and allows it to naturally flow through the dam’s outlet and through the Kansas River as it would have before the dam.  While early tests show this technique would work with the kind of sediment in Tuttle Creek, researchers are less certain they can get it to flow downstream. [source

 

KCC, Oil Industry Fuel Support for Bills to Speed Plugging of Abandoned Oil Wells
Kansas energy regulators and the state’s largest oil-and-gas association recently endorsed a package of legislation designed to clarify legal ambiguities in the law and streamline use of funds set aside to plug thousands of abandoned wells across the state. The Kansas Corporation Commission’s campaign to secure nonfunctional wells in an attempt to reduce environmental problems has been hampered by plugging companies that viewed the bidding process as daunting, noncompetitive compensation offered to plugging contractors and the extensive list of wells that long ago were left behind by owners or operators. The state has more than 100,000 operational wells, KCC officials said. About 10,000 of the state’s abandoned wells have been plugged during the past quarter-century, but the commission’s priority list exceeds 5,000 wells. Ryan Hoffman, director of the conservation division at the KCC, told an interim House and Senate budget committee at the Capitol the 2020 Legislature would be urged by the KCC and the Kansas Independent Oil & Gas Association to consider three reform bills related to improving the state’s response to abandoned oil wells. The first bill would “administratively combine two remediation funds, one for historical wells drilled before 1996 and the other for modern wells created since that year, into a singular account.” The second would “clarify in state law how the KCC assigned responsibility for plugging wells.” And the third would “grant authority for the commission to begin reimbursing farmers, landowners or others for taking the initiative to cap wells as long as that person wasn’t determined to be the party legally responsible for the wells.” While the ideas seem worthwhile and worthy of consideration from the Legislature, some skeptics point out that it is not clear how the increased certainty and simplified funding actually translates into more capped wells. It’s all well and good to clarify who actually has responsibility for abandoned well sites. But that doesn’t mean it’s fixed. Likewise, streamlining funds to pay for the work will make bookkeeping simpler. But it won’t mean those funds will be disbursed to actually support the needed work in communities across the state. [source

 

KFS Deploys Aircraft to Battle Cherry Creek Fire in Cheyenne County
Air Tanker 95In support of the firefighting efforts last month on the Cherry Creek Fire in Cheyenne County, the Kansas Forest Service deployed a firefighting air tanker plane, along with two Kansas-based aerial agricultural applicators, used to drop water on fires as part of the suppression effort. Air Tanker 95 is a double-engine Grumman S-2 based in Hutchinson, owned by Bill Garrison. It has a capacity of 800 gallons of water and was previously owned and used by the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection. Firefighting efforts managed by the Cheyenne County Fire Districts and the Cheyenne County Emergency Manager were supported by the newly hired District Fire Management Officer, Chris Hanson, who covers the northwest region of the state. “The coordination between agencies to bring ground and air resources together has had a significant impact on our ability to work toward controlling this fire,” said Hanson. “We look forward to being able to serve local fire departments and emergency managers with the coordination of these resources to prevent wildfires from being coming catastrophic events.” The tanker is available to any fire department in the state that puts out a call for assistance. They just need to put in a call to the agency’s Fire Service Duty Officer at (785) 532-3321. [source

 

White House, CDC Feuding Over PFAS Health Study
A highly anticipated congressionally approved multi-million dollar federal health study of per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) is off to a slow start, with a dispute between the CDC and White House Office of Management and Budget playing a role. Funding of the PFAS health study was hailed as a bipartisan victory in Congress, with key senators continuing to offer support. Sen. Pat Toomey, “has reached out to OMB regarding this matter,” his office said. “In this administration, OMB has consistently been the quicksand into which all rules designed to protect health and the environment sink,” said Senator Tom Carper. “This executive branch agency moves with the utmost haste when it comes to deregulation, but when it comes to basic protections for public health, time and again, OMB creates a standstill.” Concerns about PFAS chemicals have exploded nationally in recent years, following decades of use in products including non-stick cookware, water-resistant clothing, food packaging, carpets and military firefighting foams. [source

 

Applications Sought for KRWA Dennis Schwartz Scholarship
The deadline to submit applications for the Dennis Schwartz Scholarship, for the 2020-2021 academic year, is January 31, 2020. The scholarship will be awarded to a graduating high school senior. Applicants are limited to children, stepchildren or students under legal guardianship of either a KRWA Active Member System or KRWA employee. The scholarship was created in honor of Dennis Schwartz who served on the KRWA Board of Directors from 1977 to 2014, and who has served on a host of state and national committees including the National Rural Water Association, National Drinking Water Advisory Committee and the Kansas Water Authority. The recipient will receive the amount of $1,000, beginning with the 2020-2021 school term, and will be announced during the 2020 KRWA Annual Conference & Exhibition, March 24-26, 2020. [more

 

KRWA Training Calendar
 

December 3-6: Emporia
Cross Connection - Backflow Prevention

 

December 10: Hutchinson
Sustainable Management of Water and Wastewater Utilities

 

December 11: Dodge City
Wastewater Lagoon Operations and Maintenance

 

December 12: Ulysses 
Wastewater Lagoon Operations and Maintenance

 

December 17-18: Lawrence
Basic Electrical Maintenance & Troubleshooting

 

December 19: Manhattan
Advanced Electrical Schematic Reading and Troubleshooting

 

Drought Monitor
Cold, dry weather prevails in Kansas, following last week's winter storms. The most significant precipitation amounts from last Tuesday's storm were seen in extreme northwest Kansas, where up to 9.5 inches of snow fell, with 1- to 2-inches of snow water equivalent. The second wave over Thanksgiving brought lesser amounts. According to the latest U.S. Drought Monitor, further worsening of the drought situation occurred from southwestern through central Kansas, where the depiction of moderate to severe drought (D1 to D2) was expanded. Several fires were reported last week during gusty winds. In Elk County, firefighters battled a large fire that reportedly burned through several thousand acres during 8 hours on Wednesday night, into Thursday morning. Firefighters from Chautauqua County, Montgomery County, Labette County, Greenwood County, Wilson County, and several townships responded.
Kansas portion of the U.S. Drought Monitor, released Nov. 27, 2019.
Current U.S. Drought Monitor maps for:
Arkansas River Basin, High Plains Region, North-Central RegionSouthern Plains Region and State of Kansas