Friday, April 01, 2016

50th Annual Rural Water Convention, Wichita KS

As a board member of Douglas Rural Water #3, Dan has the opportunity to attend the convention each year.    Since this is the 50th year since the establishment of Kansas Rural Water,  we were glad we were a part of the celebration.

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What is a convention without drawings for prizes and there were a bunch.  But, as usual, we did not come home with one.  However, two couples we know well each won two items!  How great is that, especially when one of the gifts was a hand pieced quilt. 

Dan attended the break out sessions each time they were offered.  I went with him, except the spouses had a special afternoon Wednesday.  We visited the Museum of World Treasurers located in the downtown area of Wichita.  As I understand, local collectors came together to form these galleries of treasures from around the world.   This is an eclectic, almost quirky museum and I found it extremely interesting. 

The evening entertainment was an adaption of the Broadway Lend Me a Tenor by Ken Ludwig presented by The Forum Theatre.  This was laugh-out-loud funny and professionally presented. 

There were a few interesting facts that I thought I would share:

  • Emporia won the 2016 the best tasting water in the state contest and in 2015 won third place nationally.  (Makes me want to stop by Emporia & get a glass of water)
  • John Redmond Reservoir is 42% silted in and Tuttle Creek is 40% silted in. Dredging is starting soon on John Redmond because it is the water source for Wolf Creek Power Plant.
  • Additional storage is needed on the Republican River from Clay Center north to the state line
  • There is research to develop livestock feed wheat to reduce irrigation needed for feed corn
  • The water used in the oil industry is extremely hard to clean—disposal of the water is not an option.  One way to clean it is to shoot it high in the air and the petroleum will then evaporate off. 
  • Restoring stream banks to reduce erosion and in turn silt is successful with a 21-1 return (not sure what that means but there were aerial photographs that demonstrated the successes)
  • Buffer crops on high erosion areas continue to be federally funded
  • More discussion is needed for getting communities through drought conditions in dry areas.  

The Ogallala Aquifer is depleting at an alarming rate.  Many farmers find their wells actually drying up in the Garden City area.  Rex Buchanan of the Kansas Geological Survey gave the presentation at the closing session.  He and his staff have checked the health of numerous wells over the aquifer for many years and he had a map which showed  there are very few areas that are not affected.  This underground water was established when Rome was built Buchanan said.  It is not replaceable. 

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