“Vision Team” to Begin Drafting 50-Year Kansas Water Plan

The Kansas Water Vision Team conducted a workshop Friday at the Kansas Farm Bureau office in Manhattan.

The purpose of the meeting was to identify the major issues and priorities that will be used in developing the first draft of the 50-year Water Vision plan, which Governor Brownback called for during his Water Conference last October.

Kansas Department of Agriculture Secretary, Jackie McClaskey said she and other members of the “Vision Team” regularly talk to State Legislators about the status of the plan, and she feels like its time to take the next step.

“I think they’re (legislators) ready for the first draft so that they can have some opportunities for feed back,” McClaskey said.

McClaskey said one the main themes during Friday’s workshop was that the Water Vision Plan must encompass the entire state.

“We need to consider it corner to corner; but at the same time, we need to not propose a one solution, one-size-fits-all approach,” McClaskey said.

The Vision Team will develop a first draft of the 50-year plan over the next four to eight weeks. Following the approval from the Kansas Water Authority of the first draft in May, the Vision Team will then host additional public meetings in June and July to gather more input before the final version is submitted to the Governor’s office in November.

Over 150 people representing several State Agencies and Advisory Committees participated in Friday’s workshop including:

Kansas Water Authority (voting and ex-officios), Kansas State Board of Agriculture, Basin Advisory Committee Chairs, Ogallala Aquifer Advisory Committee, Reservoir Advisory Committee, State Conservation Commission Board, and Governor’s Council of Economic Advisors.