FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
January 26, 2018
Contact: Katie Patterson-Ingels, 785-296-3185
Kansas Water Authority Reaffirms Policy on State Water Plan Funding
This week the Kansas Water Authority (KWA) met in the city of Topeka for their January meeting.
Over two days the KWA members met with approximately 80 legislators and the state’s top leaders to discuss how Kansas priority water issues will be addressed and funded. The KWA heard strategies on budget and funding from President of the Senate, Susan Wagle and Speaker of the House, Ron Ryckman. Governor Brownback also made one of his final appearances outside the Capitol as Governor of the State of Kansas as he thanked the KWA for their hard work and dedication to continue to implement the Kansas Water Vision for the Future of the Water in Kansas.
The KWA received updates on vital water projects in the state including the recently awarded grant for $2.88 million through the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) Regional Conservation Partnership Program (RCPP) to improve water quality conditions within the Milford Lake Watershed to the Kansas Water Office (KWO). They also heard an update on the State Water Plan Fund and Water Vision Research priorities. The KWA approved the KWO to enter into negotiations with the City of Lawrence for a new water marketing contract from Clinton Lake.
The KWA reaffirmed their support for the 2017 Blue Ribbon Funding Task Force for Water Resource Management (BRFTF), whose recommendations were developed to help implement the state’s Water Vision. The primary recommendation is to dedicate one tenth of one cent of existing retail sales tax to water issues. By statute, the State Water Plan Fund is to receive $8 million in funding ($6 million from State General Fund and $2 million from Economic Development Initiatives Fund). Until the long term funding solution is in place, the BRFTF and KWA recommend restoration of these transfers as the first step.
The KWA is responsible for advising the Governor, Legislature and Director of the Kansas Water Office on water policy issues. They also ensure that water policies and programs address the needs of all Kansans as well as serve as advisors of the Kansas Water Vision and Kansas Water Plan. The KWA was established in 1981 and consists of 13 voting members who are appointed by the Governor or Legislative leadership. State agency directors serve as ex-officio members.
The next meeting will be held in Lenexa, Kansas April 18, 2018. KWA meetings are held throughout the year and for additional information and other upcoming meetings, visit www.kwo.ks.gov.
Note to Editor: The Americans with Disabilities Act, (42 U.S.C. 12101), requires the Kansas Water Office to print the reasonable accommodations messages.
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As the state’s water office, KWO conducts water planning, policy coordination and water marketing as well as facilitates public input throughout the state.
The agency prepares the KANSAS WATER PLAN, a plan for water resources development, management and conservation. KWO in coordination with the KWA also reviews all water laws and makes recommendations to the Governor and Legislature for needed legislation.