Since COVID hit last March, water meetings of state-wide interest have been either canceled or virtual. This week, in Garden City, we have three separate water meetings, packed into three days. Here is the run down:
The Kansas Water Congress (KWC) will hold its summer meeting on Monday, August 16, starting at 8:30 a.m. at the Clarion Inn, 1911 E Kansas Ave. The agenda is dominated by state agency updates in the morning and reports by the Groundwater Management Districts (GMDs) in the afternoon. For more information on the KWC and details of the meeting, see: https://www.kswatercongress.org/.
The Kansas Water Authority — On Tuesday, August 17, the KWA will hold its first in-person meeting since early 2020, starting at 8:00 a.m., also at the Clarion Inn in Garden City. There is a virtual option available as well.
The agenda, meeting materials, and instructions for remote participation are available at: https://www.kwo.ks.gov/admin-pages/events-landing-page/2021/08/17/default-calendar/kansas-water-authority.
In addition to its routine business and several updates, the two key action items of the KWA meeting including:
- action on its proposed budget for the State Water Plan Fund
- action to release for public comment a draft update to the State Water Plan, which is updated every 5 years.
- The official Draft Plan, once approved by the KWA, will be posted on the following page: https://www.kwo.ks.gov/water-vision-water-plan/water-plan
- A draft of the draft SWP is currently available at: https://kwo.ks.gov/docs/default-source/water-vision-water-plan/water-plan/draft_kansaswaterplan_081121.pdf?sfvrsn=ab4c8014_2.
Kansas House Committee on Water – During the 2021 legislative session, this new committee of the Kansas House of Representatives held numerous hearings to collect information on various state and local water agencies, their responsibilities, programs, staffing, and budgets. Their work will continue at least through the 2022 legislative session.
The committee’s work is accessible at the following link: http://www.kslegislature.org/li/b2021_22/committees/ctte_h_water_1/, although you have to go to the specific hearing dates to access the presentations.
The committee will have a field hearing in Garden City on August 17-18. On the afternoon of the 17th, the committee will have a field tour and evening presentation. All day on Wednesday the 18th, will be a hearing at the Garden City Community College, including a public comment period, committee discussions, and several presentations focused on management of the Ogallala aquifer.
The latest version of the agenda (as of 8/15) is: http://www.kslegislature.org/li/b2021_22/committees/ctte_h_water_1/documents/agenda/weeklyinterim/20210823.pdf
It appears the committee’s August 18 hearing will be available via live stream from a link on this web page above.