This issue overviews the past week’s hearings of House Committee on Water (HCOW), what is coming this week, and announces a new KWRC page for Kansas water news stories in the media. Thursday’s (1/12) HCOW hearing featured former Kansas Chief Engineer David Barfield providing an overview of the responsibilities of the state’s Division of Water Resources and the state’s actions to address declines in the Ogallala Aquifer.
House Committee on Water: last week’s hearing and the week ahead
The HCOW met on Tuesday, 1/10/2023, for introductions and discussion of committee rules.
At the Chairman’s invitation, I addressed the committee for its Thursday hearing (1/12/2023). My topics included overviews of the responsibilities of the Division of Water Resources and its Chief Engineer, the Kansas Water Appropriation Act, the State’s Groundwater Management District Act, the status of the Ogallala Aquifer, actions to reduce groundwater declines (LEMAs, WCAs), and overviewing last session’s Mega-Water Bill (HB 2686).
Link to a video of my 90 minutes presentation to the committee: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hcWxCAbHRkA.
My PowerPoint available on HCOW page at: http://www.kslegislature.org/li/b2023_24/committees/ctte_h_water_1/documents/?date_choice=2023-01-12.
As the presentation, with Committee questions, is 90 minutes long, here is an outline of timestamps and topics:
- 0:00 to 0:40 – Chair opens committee, one bill introduction.
- 0:40-4:25 – My introduction (a bit about myself; overview of the presentation).
- 4:25-6:55 – Kansas water: essential, limited, variable.
- 6:55-9:50 – Water agencies and coordination.
- 9:50-21:45 – Duties of DWR and its Chief Engineer; brief interstate overview; Kansas Water Appropriation Act (KWAA, 1945); subsequent water development, Kansas use of water, resulting reductions in streamflow and groundwater depletion; amendments of the KWAA and other related acts.
- 21:45-34:05 – Groundwater management: the 1972 GMD Act and 1978 amendments to the KWAA and GMD Act; IGUCAs; GMD accomplishments (prior to 2012).
- 34:05-1:06:30 – Groundwater management, 2012 to current: LEMAs and WCAs.
- 35:20-44:10 – Northwest KS GMD 4: the LEMA initiator; Sheridan 6 LEMA and its performance; GMD 4 LEMA.
- 44:10-50:15 – non-regulatory options to address declines; WCAs.
- 50:15-58:20 – Western KS GMD 1; the Wichita County WCA; the Wichita County and Four County LEMAs.
- 58:20-1:06:30 – Southwest KS GMD 3; Questions on enforcement; MYFAs.
- 1:06:30-1:14:40 – HB 2686 of 2022 with an overview and particulars on DWR and it Chief Engineer and groundwater management provisions.
- 1:14:40 – Committee questions
House Committee on Water’s Agenda for the week of 1/17/2023
- 1/17/2023 – Kansas Water Office briefing
- 1/19/2022- Briefings by KDA-Division of Water Resources and the Kansas Geological Survey.
KWRC Kansas Water News page
As a result of the acceleration of Kansas water news, we have started a new page to archive key news stories at: https://kwrconsulting.com/blog/kansas-water-news/. It includes 11 stories from 2022 and already has two articles from 2023, the first on action by Western Kansas GMD 1 to reduce wateruse, and a second on the anticipated confrontation ahead as the Legislature considers action to address Ogallala Aquifer declines.