Sunday, December 5, 2021
     
"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.

E-News for Jan. 11, 2021

01/11/2021 - Weekly KRWA E-News

KRWA Featured in Recent Podcast
In last week's episode of The Maguire Iron Podcast, KRWA General Manager, Elmer Ronnebaum, discussed the mission, history, and rural water in Kansas. [listen

 

Chief Engineer Approves Plan for Water Conservation in Wichita County
DWR's new Chief Engineer, Earl Lewis, has signed an order approving a Local Enhanced Management Area (LEMA) plan for all of the area in Wichita County lying within the boundaries of Western Kansas Groundwater Management District (GMD) No. 1. The LEMA was signed on December 30, 2020, and will be effective for a five-year period beginning January 1, 2021. The plan was approved by the chief engineer following an extended hearing process. The Wichita County LEMA will be the third LEMA in Kansas, and was motivated by local users’ desire to conserve water and ensure continued economic viability of the region. This LEMA follows the notable successes achieved by the LEMA plans in northwest Kansas. Results from the state’s other two LEMAs show that the reduction in water use slowed the rate of groundwater level decline, extending the life of the aquifer with little to no economic harm caused by the reduction during the same period. [source

 

KDA to Resume Public Hearing on Wichita ASR Project
The Kansas Department of Agriculture last week announced that the formal phase public hearing to address the City of Wichita’s proposed modifications to Phase II of the city’s Aquifer Storage and Recovery (ASR) Project will resume, beginning Feb. 3. This is a continuation of proceedings that were initiated by the agency during 2020, in response to modifications requested by the city of Wichita. While the in-person hearing location will not be open to the public, the public will be able to view the proceedings virtually, using either Zoom or YouTube. The public is also invited to submit written comments and will be allowed to do so until Feb. 26. [source

 

USFWS Will Not Request to Secure Water for Quivira National Wildlife Refuge
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service announced at the end of 2020 that it does not intend to submit a request to secure water for Quivira National Wildlife Refuge during 2021, citing ongoing voluntary solutions by stakeholders to remedy water impairment at the refuge. Following a water right impairment complaint by USFWS, Kansas determined the refuge’s senior water right along Rattlesnake Creek was being impaired by junior water right holders. In order to avoid administration, the USFWS and stakeholders developed a framework for water conservation in an effort to resolve the impairment. [source

 

Shawnee County Commissioners Approve Permit for 1 Million Gallon Water Tower
The Commission recently approved the conditional use permit during a remote public hearing. The new tower to be constructed south of Topeka near Forbes Field will be 113.5 feet tall with an 18-inch water line. Braxton Copley, deputy director of the city of Topeka’s utilities department, spoke in favor of the project. “This is a very important project for us,” Copley said. “We only have a single tower of 500,000 gallons (in that area), so having a second tower in a pressure zone is best practice throughout the industry.” [source

 

Gigabit Internet is Coming to Rural Kansas
The FCC recently selected 180 winning bidders to receive $9.2 billion in funding, through their Rural Digital Opportunity Fund (RDOF), to provide increased internet access to 5.2 million unserved homes and businesses in 49 states and the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands. The new service, expected to be deployed over the next six years, includes 46,827 locations in Kansas. Kansas was awarded more than $62 million, the 35th highest amount in the auction. The top bidder in Kansas was Resound Networks, LLC, a service provider with coverage in Texas, New Mexico and Oklahoma, which was awarded more than $33 million across nearly 17,000 locations in the state, mostly in western Kansas. Winning bidders now will formally apply for the funds to be finalized and approved by the FCC. This process is expected to take three to six months before the projects are officially approved and work begins. [source

 

Audubon Nebraska Objects to Proposed Platte-Republican Pipeline
The proposed interbasin pipeline has been proposed to help Nebraska meet its water delivery obligations to Kansas under the 1943 Republican River Compact, which allocates water between Nebraska, Kansas, and Colorado. But state officials and environmentalists are opposed to the project. In 2018, Kansas Governor Jeff Colyer wrote a letter in opposition to this proposed transfer because of the ecological and economic harm that the introduction of bighead and silver carp could cause along the Republican River. In its legal objection submitted to the Nebraska Department of Water Resources, Audubon Nebraska says it is concerned that transferring water out of the Platte River Basin, already crucially short on supply, could have drastic negative impacts on the ecosystems, birds, and waterfowl, and people that depend on it. Once carp enter a stream or reservoir, the safety and value of fishing and recreation is greatly reduced, Audubon contends. [source

 

Drought Monitor
The drought status over much of the High Plains remained unchanged according to the U.S. Drought Monitor, except for slight improvements in eastern Kansas, which caught the northern edge of heavier precipitation during several recent rounds of winter weather. Some small patches of deterioration are noted in north-central Kansas across portions of Jewell and Smith counties. Extreme heat was rare in 2020, according to the National Weather Service (NWS) in Wichita. Some locations saw their fewest number of 100-degree days in nearly 50 years. For instance, Salina only had three 100-degree days, its fewest since 1972. But overall, 2020 was the driest year for some areas, in 6 years.

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