11th annual Governor’s Conference on the Future of Water in Kansas

Published: Nov. 16, 2022 at 6:43 PM CST
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MANHATTAN, Kan. (WIBW) - Governor Laura Kelly welcomed Kansans to the 11th Annual Conference on the Future of Water at the Hilton Garden Inn in Manhattan on Wednesday. The two-day conference highlights the latest policy and research developments on water issues in Kansas and the updated Kansas Water Plan.

“For decades, politicians have kicked the can down the road when it comes to finding a sustainable solution to Kansas’ water crisis,” Governor Laura Kelly said. “Protecting our water supply will remain one of my top priorities in Topeka over the next four years. I refuse to let the can be kicked down the road any farther.”

In her first term, the Kelly Administration updated the State Water Plan for the first time since 2009 and fully funded it for the first time in 15 years.

“This conference is important because it pulls together the many stakeholders across the state to explore and implement effective ways to make our water supplies last and to keep them safe for all Kansans,” Connie Owen, director of the Kansas Water Office, said.

”Every angle from the water community gathers during this conference to share ideas, to network and this particular conference is about exploring ways that we can go forward to address the critical water challenges that we have, both with shrinking water supplies and with threats to our water quality,” said Owen.

Under the Kelly Administration, Kansas spearheaded a water injection dredging project to remove sediment at Tuttle Creek Lake, which serves more than 800,000 Kansans; expanded broadband to take advantage of irrigation technology to reduce water consumption; and built upon partnerships with agriculture producers to improve production practices and water conservation efforts.

While at the conference, Governor Kelly awarded John Peck, Lee Rolfs, and Don Whittemore the Water Legacy Award for their contributions and lasting impact on the future of water in Kansas.