Weekly News - Jan. 8, 2018
01/08/2018 - Weekly KRWA E-News
Program for the 2018 KRWA Annual Conference & Exhibition is Online - Registration is Open
This year's conference includes 9 pre-conference sessions on Tuesday, March 27 and 48 breakout sessions on Wednesday and Thursday, March 28 and 29. EXPO Hall has all 365 booth spaces filled! The program includes the 18th Annual Attorneys' Forum and 4th Annual Engineering Forum. The Wednesday noon luncheon will include guest speaker Tom Stiles, Assistant Director of the Bureau of Water, Kansas Dept. of Health and Environment. Tom will discuss the "Challenges to Rule-Making". Thursday's luncheon speaker will be Harold Casey, CEO, Substance Abuse Center of Kansas. Harold will provide insight to the issue of opiate abuse in Kansas and the nation. And do not miss the Opening Keynote address by Charles Marshall on Wednesday morning as he provides a motivating (and hilarious) address, "Real Heroes Don't Wear Spandex!" All these features, combined with great food, social and entertainment, and prizes and drawings that total more than $20,000, make the KRWA Conference the "place to be", March 27 - 29, Century II Convention Center, In Wichita. The hard copy program will also be in mailboxes soon.
KGS and DWR to Measure Groundwater Levels in Western Kansas
Staff from the Kansas Geological Survey and the Division of Water Resources have started measuring water levels in hundreds of western Kansas wells. Most have been measured annually for years, some since the 1960s, to monitor declines in the state’s most valuable groundwater resources. The wells draw mainly from the High Plains aquifer, a massive network of underground water-bearing rocks that underlies parts of eight states. Groundwater levels in much of the aquifer — the primary source of irrigation, municipal and industrial water in western and central Kansas — have dropped significantly, in some places, as pumping increased over the past 70 years. KGS will measure 564 wells, and crews from DWR’s field offices in Garden City, Stafford and Stockton will measure an additional 825 wells. Each agency also will measure 10 wells new to the program. Groundwater levels are measured in December, January, and February to avoid direct impacts from pumping during the growing season. Earlier in this decade water levels fell sharply in some areas, especially in southwest Kansas, as pumping increased during drought years. In 2016 when precipitation levels bounced back to near normal, declines slowed or reversed. “Precipitation patterns in 2017 were again pretty favorable for Kansas, especially along the Kansas-Colorado line,” said Brownie Wilson, KGS water-data manager. “I’m expecting this year’s measurements to be close to where they were last January or maybe down a little but, overall, greatly improved from what we saw five to six years ago.” Results of measurements made in January 2018 will be added in late February.
DWR Water Use Reports Mailed
The Division of Water Resources is in the process of mailing the annual water use reports, which may have already arrived in your mailbox. It is important to complete the report and return it to the Division of Water Resources as soon as possible. You may submit your report information online by visiting http://www.kswaterusereport.org. To file online, find your unique PIN and Person ID printed on the paper report you received in the mail. Penalties for failure to submit a complete report, before the March 1 deadline, were increased substantially with a rule and regulation change adopted last fall. Late water use reports are now subject to a minimum fine of $250 per file number. Incomplete reports are also subject to civil penalties, so it is important to provide all of the requested information.
A Thought on the Lead and Copper Rule (LCR)
Today, NRWA President Steve Fletcher will represent NRWA in EPA’s formal consultation on “Federalism” for rewriting the LCR. In response to a national drinking water contamination crisis of chemical toxins in New Orleans' drinking water in the 1970s, Congress reacted by passing new environmental regulations that usurped local governments’ authority over the safety of their drinking water with a new federal regulatory authority. Forty years later we witnessed the City of Flint's drinking water crises where the federal regulatory bureaucracy was unable to prevent the crises, unable to tell us what level of lead in drinking water is safe or not safe, and unable to tell us if Flint violated the federal lead rule while delivering alarming amounts of lead to citizens in their water in a situation where nobody is able to assign blame. The confusion of responsibility for Flint is resulting in all Americans subsidizing Flint's water supply to the detriment of funding their own water supplies. As EPA considers revisions to the LCR, many voices are claiming the solution is to further expand federal agency control over local governments (i.e. democracies).
[Source: National Rural Water Association.]
Raw Water: The Latest Health Craze?
Hold your canteen under a natural spring and you'll come away with crystal clear water, potentially brimming with beneficial bacteria as well as minerals from the earth. That's what proponents of the “raw water” movement are banking on: selling people on the idea of drinking water that contains the things they say nature intended without the chemicals, such as chlorine, often used in urban water treatment processes. In some areas of the country, including the West Coast, it has become a high-dollar commodity — water captured in glass bottles and sold straight to you. “Naturally probiotic. Perfected by nature,” boasts Live Water, which sells raw water sourced from Oregon's Opal Spring. But by shunning recommended water safety practices, experts warn, raw water purveyors may also be selling things you don't want to drink — dangerous bacteria, viruses and parasites that can make you sick.
Iowa Water Tower Freezes
From frozen pipes to broken water mains and cracked windows, last week’s bitterly cold temperatures caused problems across a wide swath of the U.S. The Waterloo suburb of Evansdale lost water service for a few days after temperatures fell to minus 20 degrees, causing an ice cap to form in their water tower. Water was being run directly from the city wells into the system and a boil order was put in place, but the issue had been resolved by Thursday and the boil order was lifted. http://wcfcourier.com/news/local/evansdale-water-tower-working-boil-order-lifted/article_7484417f-529a-5be5-8dc5-f8d56042818b.html
What You Need to Do Because of Flaws in Computer Chips
Last week, a group of security experts revealed two security flaws that affect nearly all microprocessors, the digital brains of the world’s computers. These flaws, called Meltdown and Spectre, could allow hackers to lift passwords, photos, documents and other data from smartphones, PCs and the cloud computing services that many businesses rely on. Here is a guide to what you need to know and what you should do.
KRWA Training Calendar
Jan. 11: Hoisington
Wastewater Utility Workshop: Operations & Management
Jan. 16: Winfield
Design & Operation of Water Wells, Source Water Protection, Water Rights
Jan. 16-19: Pratt
Cross Connection - Backflow Prevention
Jan. 24: Phillipsburg
Complying with Drinking Water Regulations
Jan. 25: Russell
Complying with Drinking Water Regulations
Mostly dry and bitterly cold conditions prevailed last week across the High Plains region. Very light precipitation fell over the weekend, primarily in eastern portions of the state. No significant changes were made to the U.S. Drought Monitor’s drought depiction for Kansas last week, compared to the previous week. Changes in the Midwest region were limited to a small increase of moderate drought in parts of Missouri, where 90-day precipitation was locally less than half of normal. According to the National Weather Service, Wichita hasn’t experienced measurable snow (at least 0.1") since December 17, 2016, which becomes the city's longest stretch since records began in 1888. Dry conditions are expected to prevail across the central and southern Plains. Doug Kluck, the climate services director for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration in Kansas City, notes there was a similar pattern in 2012, which resulted in a long drought for much of the Midwest and Northern Plains. “It is sort of a worrisome pattern that we’ve been in up to this point,” Kluck says. “We’ve seen these dry and warm falls switch into or become dry springs and summers the next year, especially after a second La Nina and this is two years in a row.”
Current U.S. Drought Monitor maps for:
High Plains Region, North-Central Region and Southern Plains Region